Lex Fidman had an inspiring conversation with Neri Oxman on biology, art, and the science of design & engineering with nature.
Neri Oxman is a designer, engineer, scientist, and artist. Her work embodies environmental design and digital morphogenesis, with shapes and properties determined by their context. She mentioned “material ecology” to define her work, placing materials in context.
In this conversation, Oxman discusses the importance of novelty in various fields like synthetic biology, material science, robotics, and engineering when starting a new project. They emphasize the idea that combining novelty in these disciplines can lead to the creation of something novel.
Oxman also touches on nature’s wisdom, which they believe goes beyond intelligence, and how technology can tap into this wisdom. They mention the imbalance between anthropomass (human-made materials) and biomass (natural materials) on the planet and the need to consider a material ecology approach where everything is grown rather than built.
Oxman emphasizes the importance of not just designing products and environments but also creating new technologies associated with each project. These projects often lead to new scientific discoveries and blur the line between art and science.