Introducing the Media Lab Award


Tonight the Media Lab presented its first Media Lab Award to the design team of Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, whose pioneering approach to critical design and its intersection with science, technology, art, and the humanities has changed the landscape of design education and practice worldwide.

Photo credit: Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine.

This first award is a knotty award, created by father and son Martin and Erik Demaine. A handblown glass vessel holds flat sheets on which pages from three of Tony and Fiona’s most influential books were superimposed, cut into circles, and folded along circular creases.

The award will be be given annually to individuals who exemplify the Media Lab’s spirit of uniqueness, impact, and magic in their work — those who pursue permission-less experimentation outside the boundaries of traditional disciplines. In keeping with the Lab’s antidisciplinary thinking, the award will not be restricted to achievements in any particular field, but instead will honor those whose work in science, technology, or design has resulted in societally significant contributions­ that could not have been possible by following a traditional research approach.

The Knotty Objects co-curators—Paola Antonelli, Neri Oxman, and Kevin Slavin — wrote more about the award and why Tony and Fiona were selected as the first recipients in this blog post about the event.

Congratulations, Tony and Fiona!


The Knotty Objects program continues tomorrow, 7/16, with a full day of talks, videos, panels, and a debate. Please join us via live webcast and follow the conversation on Twitter using #knottyobjects.