Mythologies Of the Not Yet

Neri Oxman

Design, like mythology, employs the augmentation of human power and of the built environment. From the Golem of Prague to architectural exoskeletons, from Icarus’ wings to da Vinci’s flying machines, from the Promethean liver to DNA printing – design reflects and amplifies how Nature works. We can today transform the super-natural pronounced by myth into reality as digital fabrication and material technologies offer possibilities to redesign Nature: robotically woven silk pavilions, ultra-light breathable helmets and 4d printed skins are among what can be considered mythologies of the not yet”. Revealing Nature’s processes, a selection of objects and buildings represents a library of design principles inspired by Nature suggesting that the ancient myth and its futuristic counterpart unite where design-fabrication recapitulates fantasy.

Neri Oxman is an architect and designer. She directs the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab