Nature’s Architect 1

Nature’s Architect

2012  By Madhumita Venkataramanan, WIRED , UK Edition

Neri Oxman, founder of MIT's Material Ecology Design Lab, transposed the super powers of mythical creatures into designs for a series of garmentsrealised by advanced 3D printer and exhibited in Paris. In May this year, the Centre Pompidou in Paris opened MIT designer Oxman's exhibition Imaginary Beings: Mythologies of the Not Yet.  The collection consists of 18 pieces that Oxman calls "wearable mythologies": objects you can wear to augment your ordinary, human capabilities. Inspired by Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges's Encyclopaedia of Fantastic Zoology, each of the prototypes is based on a mythical beast and encapsulates a magical ability such as the capacity to fly, or the secret of invincibility. Oxman designed the pieces using Israeli companyObjet's multimaterial 3D-printing technology. Objet's printer, known as the Connex 500, was able to manufacture the garments to a 600 dots-per-inch resolution. "We could vary colour, material properties and shape at the 16-micron scale," says Oxman, who worked closely with Objet to customise its technology specifically for this collection. Although she takes advantage of the latest innovations, Oxman says mythology is the real inspiration of all modern design. "It's a projection of the future," she says. Here's a selection of Wired's favourite fairy-tales of tomorrow. Designed by Neri Oxman in collaboration with Prof. W. Craig Carter (Materials Science and Engineering, MIT), Joe Hicklin (The Mathworks) and  Turlif Vilbrandt (Symvol, Uformia). Produced by Stratasys.

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