PLAN 82: Article
Imaginary Beings: Mythologies Of The Not Yet

Neri Oxman at the Centre Pompidou

Eighteen new works by assistant professor Neri Oxman were on exhibit this summer at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of Creative Multiversities, an exhibition devoted to forward-looking work in the fields of architecture, design, new technologies and social innovation.

Created especially for this exhibit, Oxman’s collection – titled Imaginary Beings: Mythologies of the Not Yet – were inspired by the development and shape of living organisms and reference The Book of the Imaginary Beings by Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges, a whimsical compendium of more than 100 ‘strange creatures’ conceived through history by the human imagination.

The collection was sponsored by Objet and created in close collaboration with W. Craig Carter of MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Joe Hicklin of The Mathworks, and Objet Ltd. 3D Printing Materials.

The Multiversités exhibition featured 15 projects designed and produced by young designers at the crossroads of various disciplines, illustrating the current revolution of ‘multiple and constantly changing creative processes’, the definition of the world ‘multiversity’.

Oxman is director of the Mediated Matter research group at the Media Lab, exploring how digital design and fabrication technologies mediate between matter and environment to transform the design and construction of objects, buildings and systems. Using principles inspired by nature and implemented with digital technologies, her work includes product and architectural design, as well as digital fabrication and construction.

In 2009 Oxman was named to ICON’s list of the ‘top 20 most influential architects to shape our future’, the same year she was selected as one of the ‘100 most creative people’ by FASTCOMPANY; in 2008, she was named ‘Revolutionary Mind’ by SEED Magazine.

Her work has been exhibited at MoMA (NYC) and is part of the museum’s permanent collection; other exhibitions include the Museum of Science (Boston, MA), FRAC Collection in Orleans, and the 2009-2010 Beijing Biennale. In 2011, the Centre Pompidou acquired Stalasso, an experiment in structural columns formation created in collaboration with Craig Carter, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, for the museum’s permanent collection.