Ned Kahn is an American environmental artist and sculptor whose work mimics the usually invisible forces of nature and makes it visible to audiences. His main interests include fluid dynamics, optics, acoustics, and other physical phenomena. Kahn worked as an apprentice to Frank Oppenheimer, the founder of the Exploratorium, during the 1980s and designed many timeless exhibits for the institution. He has gone on to design exhibits for museums such as the Museum of Natural History in New York, Museum of Natural History in London, England, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, and others. He has also completed numerous public commissions including works for the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA and Yahoo Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.
In 2003 Kahn collaborated with Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc. on a piece for the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh consisting of hundreds of movable flaps that respond to the wind creating visible patterns.
In November of 2012, Ned Kahn began collaboration with Architect Scott Johnson on the design of what was originally called the Welcome Tower for the Runway at Playa Vista. The vision was to merge art and architecture by creating a ribbed structure intended to suggest a garment, rippling in the wind. Ned Kahn created a series of prototypes and tested them on a windy hillside next to his studio in Sebastopol. The result that they chose is Kaynemaile Building-Armor that expands when it billows gracefully in the wind.
In 2017, Kahn and Kaynemaile will work together again on creating a dramatic wave art installation on the entrances of New York’s bridges and tunnels.
Kahn won a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" fellowship in 2003 and the National Design Award for environmental design in 2005. His work is in the collection of di Rosa, Napa.
Kahn lives and works in Sebastopol, north of San Francisco.