Neri Oxman is best known as an Israeli-American designer and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1976, she initially studied medicine but soon realized that she was interested in architecture. After studying at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and then at the London Architecture Association School of Architecture, Oxman came to Boston to join the architecture PhD program at MIT in 2005. After finishing her studies, she established and now directs the Mediated Matter research group, which works within the field of material ecology. Operating at the intersection of biology, materials science & engineering, and computer science, the practice augments objects and buildings with biological materials that adapt and respond to the environment. With this approach, Oxman aims to create a new age in design to align the built and the natural world.
Neri Oxman received the 2014 Vilcek Prize in Design.
Nari Ward receives the Vilcek Prize in Fine Arts for a body of found-object assemblage artwork that invites both a public discourse and an intimate dialogue with viewers on topics such as race, poverty, immigration, and the Caribbean diaspora identity.