PLAN 77: Article
Introducing Two New Faculty

Neri Oxman and César Hidalgo Join the Media Lab

Neri Oxman has been appointed Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences in the Media Arts and Sciences Program; she holds the Sony Career Development Chair. Oxman directs the Mediated Matter research group, exploring how digital design and fabrication technologies mediate between matter and environment to transform the design and construction of objects, buildings and systems. Oxman’s goal is to enhance the relationship between the built and the natural environments by utilizing design principles inspired by nature, and implementing them in inventing digital design technologies. Areas of application include product and architectural design, as well as digital fabrication and construction.

Oxman received her PhD in design computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT, where she developed the theory and practice of material-based design computation. In this approach, the shaping of material structure is conceived of as a novel form of computation. Prior to MIT, she earned her diploma from the Architectural Association (RIBA 2) after attending the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the Department of Medical Sciences at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

César A. Hidalgo has been appointed Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences in the Media Arts and Sciences Program; he holds the Asahi Broadcast Corporation Career Development Chair. Hidalgo heads the Macro Connections Group, which focuses on the development of analytical tools to improve our understanding of the world's macro structures in all of their complexity. His goal is to help improve understanding of the evolution of prosperity in order to help develop industrial policies that can help countries raise the living standards of their citizens. His areas of application include economic development, systems biology and social systems.

Before joining MIT, Hidalgo was an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a research fellow at Harvard's Center for International Development. A native of Santiago de Chile, he holds a PhD in physics from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. He is also a graphic-art enthusiast and has published and exhibited artwork that uses data collected originally for scientific purposes.