Neri Oxman’s keynote presentation at the 2016 AIA Convention, in Philadelphia, piqued the interest of many in the design community on the ability of architecture to transverse many disciplines, scales, and objectives while spurring technological advances. “Vespers,” the latest work by the MIT Media Lab associate professor and director of the Mediated Matter research group, is no exception to the fantastical, morphological work that a trained architect can dive into and upend.
Now on display as part of the “Fear and Love” exhibition at the Design Museum, in London, Vespers is collection of 3D-printed, multi-material, and multi-functional death masks. The collection comprises three series—the Past, Present, and Future—each of which subsequently has five masks of “imaginary martyrs,” according to Mediated Matter’s project statement. The masks are actually not intended to “memorialize the dead,” but rather to “reveal cultural heritage and speculate about the perpetuation of life, both culturally and biologically.”