Material Ecology: Aguahoja
Architect and designer Neri Oxman is the Sony Corporation Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her team conducts research at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science, and synthetic biology, and applies that knowledge to design across disciplines, media and scales—from the microscale to the building scale. Oxman’s goal is to augment the relationship between built, natural, and biological environments by employing design principles inspired and engineered by Nature and implementing them in the invention of novel design technologies.
Oxman coined the term and pioneered the field of, Material Ecology, which considers computation, fabrication, and the material itself as inseparable dimensions of design. In this approach, products and buildings are biologically informed and digitally engineered by, with and for, Nature.
Oxman's project Aguahoja is a collection of natural artifacts digitally designed and robotically fabricated from the molecular components found in tree branches, insect exoskeletons, and our own bones. The project proposes a novel, water-based design approach and fabrication platform that enables tight integration between material synthesis, digital fabrication, and physical behavior, at scales that approach — and often match — those of natural ecologies.
Learn more about Aguahoja through the video below and view Oxman's projects and work HERE