Vespers by Neri Oxman and Her Team - a Series of Breakthrough Stratasys 3D Printed Death Masks Bridging the Gap Between Matter and Life - Is Presented at the London Design Museum as Part of Stratasys New Ancient Collection

November 18, 2016

‘Vespers' is the latest addition to Stratasys' ‘The New Ancient' collection and will be unveiled at the ‘Fear and Love' exhibition at London's Design Museum (24 November 2016 - 23 April 2017)

MINNEAPOLIS & REHOVOT, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS), the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, today announces the official launch of ‘The New Ancient' 3D printed art and design collection. The collection includes ‘Vespers', a series of exploratory 3D printed death masks, designed by Neri Oxman and her team, which will be unveiled to the public at the grand reopening of London's Design Museum next week. Oxman combines design and computation to produce the masks which, in a landmark breakthrough, emulate the resolution and complexity that is usually only found in nature.

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VESPERS, Mask 1, Series 1, 2016. Designed by Neri Oxman and her team as part of "The New Ancient" Co ...

VESPERS, Mask 1, Series 1, 2016. Designed by Neri Oxman and her team as part of "The New Ancient" Collection by STRATASYS and 3D Printed on a Stratasys J750 Full Color Multi-material 3D Printer. Photo credit: Danielle van Zadelhoff

Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director of Art Fashion Design at Stratasys, explains: "The New Ancient collection marries ancient crafts and designs of past civilizations with advanced technologies to reimagine design in and of the modern world. Oxman, along with her team, is amongst a number of leading designers who have contributed to the creation of the collection, including Zaha Hadid, Nick Ervinck and Daniel Widrig. Oxman's Vespers epitomize this theme, traversing between modern, cutting-edge technologies and historical crafts and artefacts."

Oxman, along with her team members - Christoph Bader, Dominik Kolb, Rachel Smith, and Sunanda Sharma of the Mediated Matter Group - led the creation of Vespers. Comprising 15 masks in three sub-series, Vespers portrays the past, present and future, and explores the themes of past worlds and future technologies. "Made of a single material, such as wax or plaster, the death mask has historically originated as a means of capturing a person's visage, keeping the deceased ‘alive' through memory," explains Oxman. "Vespers' death masks, however, are designed to reveal cultural heritage and speculate about the perpetuation of life, both cultural and biological."

"Vespers' designs are entirely data driven, digitally generated, 3D printed, and - at times - biologically augmented," Oxman continues. "By pushing the boundaries of cusp technologies - such as high-resolution material modelling, full color multi-material 3D printing, and synthetic biology - they express the death mask's deeper meanings and possible future use, thus bringing it back to life."

Sub-series one of the Vespers collection, entitled ‘Past', looks at historic origins, exploring life through the lens of death. Inspired by ancient masks, this sub-series utilizes five material combinations to emulate colors commonly found in cultural artefacts across regions and eras, with impressive accuracy. With the implementation of Stratasys' unique full-color and transparency multi-material 3D printing technology, Oxman's team has created 3D printed objects that, for the first time in history, match the variety and nuance of ancient crafts.

The second sub-series, ‘Present', explores the transition between life and death, reflecting the progression of the death mask from a symbolic cultural relic in the first sub-series to a functional biological interface in the third. Visually, the surface colorations and geometries seen in the first sub-series are transformed into volumetric material distributions housed within transparent, smoothly curved dome-like structures in the second.

Rebirth is embodied in the third sub-series of masks, called ‘Future'. Perhaps the most ground-breaking of the trilogy, the final sub-series engages with synthetic biology to explore whether the death mask can drive the formation of new life, repositioning the objects as habitats capable of interfacing with living microorganisms. Devoid of cultural expressions and nearly colorless, the final five masks ‘re-engineer' life by guiding living microorganisms through minute spatial features of the artefacts.

"The Vespers masks were photographed by Belgian photographer, Danielle van Zadelhoff, whose particular photography style characteristic of Chiaroscuro is reminiscent of Caravaggio and Rembrandt - resonating with the theme of timelessness as portrayed throughout the series," explains Kaempfer.

For more than 25 years, Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) has been a defining force and dominant player in 3D printing and additive manufacturing - shaping the way things are made. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel, the company empowers customers across a broad range of vertical markets by enabling new paradigms for design and manufacturing. The company's solutions provide customers with unmatched design freedom and manufacturing flexibility - reducing time-to-market and lowering development costs, while improving designs and communications. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape, and the Stratasys ecosystem includes 3D printers for prototyping and production; a wide range of 3D printing materials; parts on-demand via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing; strategic consulting and professional services; and the Thingiverse and GrabCAD communities with over 2 million 3D printable files for free designs. With more than 2,700 employees and 1,200 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents, Stratasys has received more than 30 technology and leadership awards. Visit us online at: or, and follow us on LinkedIn.

Stratasys is a registered trademark of Stratasys Ltd. and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates.

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