By on November 16th, 2009 in blog


MaterialEcology is an interesting initiative by Neri Oxman, who is attempting to devise experimental design forms that leverage the synergy of computing, ecology, material engineering and design. Their mission:

an interdisciplinary research initiative that undertakes design research in the intersection between architecture, engineering, computation, biology and ecology. As such, this initiative is concerned with material organization and performance across all scales of design thought and practice. Material is interpreted merely as any physical entity which corresponds and reacts with its environment. As such, it seeks to promote and define a design research agenda which is ecological in nature, in ideology and in material practice; it aims at embracing the evolving elements of change in both (and indeed related) social constructs and environmental descriptions of the ever changing built environment.

One of the initiative’s works is the “sensual chair”, an ergonomic delight apparently named “Beast”. Oxman says:

“It is a performative chaise aimed to fit its form to one’s body contour and is inspired by natural forms that integrate structural and environmental performance, such as bone structures and other biological cellular solids.”


“The elastic modulus of each printing material was incorporated into the structural calculations and the type of sensation to go with it as the body rests on the chaise, In this respect, Beast exemplifies a design process that includes the fabrication technology aPriori as part of the design constraint space. This is typical of my line of work.”  

We keep seeing this pattern, where 3D printing is driven by the intersection of other disciplines – and in this respect, Oxman is at the heart of it.

Via MaterialEcology and Cadalyst

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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