Neri Oxman harnesses the powers of 17,000 silkworms for New York show

Helen Stoilas   /  Source:  The Art Newspaper

The designer has employed natural processes and used materials from plants and shellfish for her exhibition ‘Material Ecology’ at the Museum of Modern Art.

An army of 17,000 silkworms have been busily at work in Padua, Italy, creating Silk Pavilion II, a towering hyperboloid—a shape that resembles a cylinder with a cinched waist—that is to be the centrepiece of a Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) show dedicated to the Israeli-born architect and designer, Neri Oxman.

The project is the kind of “collaboration or partnership”, says the exhibition’s curator Paola Antonelli, that is at the core of Oxman’s self-coined design practice of “Material Ecology”. This practice “was always about putting together the natural, the human and the robotic,” Antonelli says. “It was about computation, the inputs of the human being as the architect, and then natural phenomenon. What’s changed today is the balance” of those three actors, the curator explaines... [+]

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