Neri Oxman and the Mediated Matter Group at MIT are exploring the possible implications of melanin use in architecture and design. The thesis is that skin pigments will be of value within industries with an ecological focus.
Commissioned by the XXII Triennale di Milano, the skin-pigment based structure presents a 3D-printed transparent brick injected with flesh-colored plumes that take on a smoke-like form. Dubbed 'Totems' — a nod to indigenous cultures, the installation is an extension of the search for "enhancing biodiversity across living systems."
Neri Oxman and her Mediated Matter Group hope to transfer the properties of skin pigments to design projects. Melanin use can be beneficial to eco-conscious product development and research as the substance is found to function as a shield for "high temperatures, chemical stresses, and biochemical threats."