Neri Oxman

Media Lab
Caring by every definition

Neri Oxman by Noah Kalina

As described by one student, Professor Neri Oxman is “a caring advisor, compassionate friend, and inspiring person.” When talking with Neri’s students, it quickly becomes apparent that the impact of Neri’s mentorship is real and powerful. One student describes, “I want to fully express how apparent and important her impact has been on me as a graduate student.” Neri sets aside time to check in with her students, both on their wellbeing and happiness, as well as their academic and personal life. And for this reason, the same student says, Neri “has become an integral part of my support network.”

Neri has created a strong and positive dynamic within her group. Her students describe her tremendous effort to recognize every individual’s efforts and contributions. Neri always includes slides of her students to emphasize their contributions and makes sure to ask if she is properly representing their ideas. In return, Neri asks her students to sit in the front and smile at her for moral support. It is this mindful team-oriented environment that leads her students to describe Neri as “the strongest voice advocating for us and our skills.” Neri encourages her students to explore their own creative path. As one student describes, “I’ve been able to talk to her about obscure, crazy research plans, ideas for my academic and personal future, cool new articles and products from the news, history and poetry and art, without any judgment and always garnering an enthusiastic, uniquely positive response.”

Professor Neri Oxman is the Sony Corporation Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directs the Mediated Matter design research group. Her group explores how digital design and fabrication technologies mediate between matter and environment to radically transform the design and construction of objects, buildings, and systems. Her goal is to enhance the relationship between the built and the natural environments by employing design principles inspired by nature and implementing them in the invention of novel digital design technologies. Neri was named to ICON’s list of the top 20 most influential architects to shape our future (2009), and was selected as one of the 100 most creative people by FASTCOMPANY (2009). Her work has been exhibited at MoMA (NYC) and is part of the museum’s permanent collection. Neri is also an MIT alumna, having received her PhD in design computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT.

Neri is an incredible mentor making profound impacts on her student’s lives and careers. We are very lucky to have her as a part of the MIT community, and we thank her for her commitment to caring.