MIT Media Lab x Slow Factory

Vespers. Series 1 Mask 1. Top view. Designed by Neri Oxman and members of The Mediated Matter Group for The New Ancient Collection curated and 3D printed by Stratasys, 2016. Photo: Yoram Reshef.

Motivated by shared values and fueled by friendship, Slow Factory’s Céline Semaan and Neri Oxman of MIT Media Lab have embarked on a collaboration that features works of Oxman’s team rendered and archived on silk. The physical artifacts* include three works:

  • Belzbub — a rubicund helmet-like structure (in collaboration with Joe Hicklin and Stratasys Ltd.);
  • Monocoque 1 — a prototype structure whose outer skin is uniquely supportive;
  • Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya — an earthy latticework revisiting the traditional Arabic typology through the lens of performance-based environmental design (in collaboration with Prof. W. Craig Carter and Stratasys Ltd).

Beyond physical artwork, Oxman and Semaan believe in communicating the power of conversation through imagery. With photography by Noah Kalina, Semaan and Oxman span both environmental and social divides, and reimagine Nature’s role as an agent to inspire others with what Nature does best: growth.

Neri Oxman is an Israeli-American architect and designer. An Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, Oxman and her team—The Mediated Matter Group—conduct research through built work in digital computation and fabrication under the field of Material Ecology, a term Oxman coined in 2005. Oxman and her team aim to close the gap between the natural and the artificial, proposing new ways to interact with—and compliment— the natural world.

Céline Semaan is a Lebanese-Canadian designer. A Fellow of the MIT Media Lab and the founder of Slow Factory, Semaan seeks to unify fashion and technology as media for raising awareness on global human rights and the environmental crises. Known for digital archiving using sustainable materials, Semaan focuses on ethical, ecological and fair trade practices.

* The artifacts are not for sale and have been produced as part of Semaan’s fellowship at the Media Lab.