PLAN 74: Article
Two From Sa+P Among 'most Creative In Business'

Fast Company Spotlights Neri Oxman and Saul Griffith

In a recent issue, Fast Company magazine named two people from SA+P to its inaugural list of the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ – ‘a snapshot of the range and depth of creativity across our business landscape’, according to Fast Company Editor Robert Safian. ‘A remarkable and perhaps surprising source of strength in these times of turmoil.’

Media Lab alumnus Saul Griffith (SM’01, PhD’04) and PhD candidate Neri Oxman (featured on the magazine’s cover) were among those labeled as ‘dazzling new thinkers, rising stars, and boldface names who couldn't be ignored’.

Griffith was profiled like this: 'At 35, Saul Griffith is already a prolific -- and eclectic -- inventor and entrepreneur. He has helped launch a half-dozen startups around his creations: a portable machine that makes cheap corrective lenses; a hand-powered generator for recharging handheld devices; Instructables, a Web site for sharing do-it-yourself projects; and a playful science education site for kids. His latest company, Makani Power, is building huge kite turbines to convert high-altitude wind into energy (Google's investment: $15 million). "I very much enjoy the process of creating something new," says Griffith, an avid kite surfer, "so my hobbies get entangled with my work."'

And Oxman’s extensive profile included this quick bio: 'The daughter of two architects, the 33-year-old Oxman studied medicine at Hebrew University; attended the Technion, Israel's world-class technical institute; and then graduated from the Architectural Association in London, where Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas both studied. She came to MIT in 2006 on a Presidential Fellowship, based in the computation group of the architecture department. There, Oxman draws on every strand of her impressively diverse background, using software to generate novel composite materials…. "We're playing God a little bit," Oxman says. "We're taking a bunch of environmental constraints and throwing them into computational software and letting the computer generate the form for us." It's biomimicry, but instead of mapping nature's forms, she's trying to imitate its processes….'

The list included three others with MIT connections – Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT’s AgeLab, chemist George Whitesides, formerly an MIT professor and now at Harvard; and former MIT economics professor Susan Athey, now Microsoft's chief economist and a professor at Harvard. It also included such household names as Zaha Hadid, Melinda Gates, Marc Jacobs, Nora Ephron, Brian Eno and Maurice Sendak.

Profiles of those featured on the list are posted on www.fastcompany.com and include photo galleries, Google News clips, videos, quotes and the opportunity to offer your own comments.