“Look, we haven’t gone this far to sell glass-printed light fixtures on Amazon,” she said. “We are here and remain committed because we are able to design an architectural ‘skin’ as an optical lens, thereby opening up possibilities for harnessing solar energy on urban scales. These technologies should not be trivialized for entertainment purposes alone, though potentially profitable solutions such as a biodegradable Pellegrino bottle may well help us cut out plastic. One has to start somewhere without compromising soul.”
When the lab figured out how to 3-D-print glass, which has all sorts of applications for building facades, Dr. Oxman was wooed by a Chinese billionaire in the fragrance business.
“He said, I’ll give you this amount of millions of dollars if you can produce perfume diffusers by Christmas,” she recalled. “I thought, I’ll take your money, but you won’t see any perfume diffusers. The challenge for me is to scale while maintaining ideological purity. It would be to easy to start a line of melanin makeup. Easy! Vitamin-infused melanin for sun-protection-slash-makeup. Easy! That’s a billion-dollar industry. But why not have an architect enter the race to cure cancer?”