I nominate Neri Oxman because I had recently the pleasure to meet her in person and can say that she is genuinely an extraordinary visionary woman whose abundance of energy and genius would lights up a stadium in the dark.
Excerpted from her website, www.materialecology.com :
Neri Oxman is an architect and researcher whose work attempts to establish new forms of experimental design and novel processes of material practice at the interface of design, computer science, material engineering and ecology.
A graduate of the AA School of Architecture and previously a medical scholar at the Hebrew University and the Technion Institute of Technology, she is currently based at MIT where she is a presidential research fellow and a PhD candidate in Design Computation.
Transcending disciplinary and professional boundaries, Oxman's work pioneers Material Computation as a design paradigm beyond typological expression. She promotes the aesthetics of material formation and behavior as a scientific contribution to ecological activism.
Her work, Natural Artifice, has recently been displayed in the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art, now part of the museum's collection. Current work is on display at the International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Seville and the 2008 Beijing Biennial. Neri has recently been recognized as a Revolutionary Mind 2008 by SEED Magazine, featuring her collection of work and research in design. She has won multiple awards for her research including the Earth Award for Future Crucial Design, HOLCIM Next Generation Award for Sustainable Construction, a Graham Foundation Carter Manny Award, the AICF Award of Excellence, the Harold Horowitz Award and others.
Neri is the founder of M A T E R I A L E C O L O G Y, an interdisciplinary design research initiative engaging in design research featuring new initiatives at the intellectual and productive interface between science, art and design and based in Cambridge, MA. www.materialecology.com