Currently working as a Computational Designer
at Apple .

Previously worked as
a Senior Innovation Designer at Nike.

Ph.D. MIT Media Lab

32. Born in Petrópolis, Brazil
Currently living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA


João Costa is a designer and researcher working with a variety of tools and processes – ranging from computational design to building robots and machines. João is interested in how we can work with nature to create new materials and processes–exploring innovative methods for designing products and reinventing fabrication techniques. He currently works as a Computational Designer at Apple in Cupertino, CA.

João holds a Doctorate degree from the MIT Media Lab, where he worked as a member of the Mediated Matter Research Group. His research focused on the investigation of design frameworks that develop fabrication processes and design objects that work with specific organisms, routines and materials found in nature.

João also holds an M.P.S. degree from ITP at the New York University, and a B.A. in Graphic Design and Visual Communication from PUC in Rio de Janeiro. He aims to bring nature as an agent in the construction of spaces, structures and products, facilitating the dialogue between philosophy, science, architecture and art by furthering the multiple relationships between these different fields and the exploration of novel design frameworks.

Education and Research

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD / Research Assistant
MIT Media Lab
Cambridge, MA
2018 - 2021

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.S. MIT Media Lab
Cambridge, MA
2017 - 2018

New York University
M.P.S. ITP Tisch School of the Arts
New York, NY
2014 - 2016

Pontifícia Universidade Católica
do Rio de Janeiro
B.A. Graphic Design
and Visual Communication
Rio de Janeiro, BR
2010 - 2013

Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage
Multiple courses
Rio de Janeiro, BR
2011 - 2013

Computational Methods for the Characterization of Apis mellifera Comb Architecture ︎︎︎
Bader, C., Costa, J., Lee, N., Smith, R., Ri, R., Weaver, J. C., & Oxman, N.
Nature Communications Biology 5, 468 (2022).

Body-Borne Reality: Risky Disembodiment in VR ︎︎︎
Horowitz A., Abhinandan J., Costa J., Mullen R., and Maes P.
CHI 2020: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Adaptable Meshes: A Dynamic Approach to the Construction of Membranes ︎
Costa J., Kraemer F., Bader C., Disset J., and Oxman N.
Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium 2019
pp 1366-1372

Making Data Matter: Voxel printing for the digital fabrication of data across scales and domains ︎
Bader C., Kolb D., Weaver C. J., Sharma S., Hosny A., Costa J., and Oxman N.
Science Advances, Vol. 4, No. 5 2018

FIBERBOTS: Design and Digital Fabrication of Tubular Structures Using Robot Swarms ︎
Kayser M., Cai L., Bader C., Falcone S., Inglessis N., Darweesh B., Costa J., and Oxman N.
Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2018
pp 285-296

Spinning Smooth and Striated: Integrated Design and Digital Fabrication of Bio-homeomorphic Structures across Scales ︎ Costa, J., Bader C., Sharma S., Xu J., and Oxman N.
Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium 2018
pp 1-4


Nature x Humanity: OXMAN Architects ︎︎︎
Curated by Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher
San Francisco, CA
February–May 2022

Neri Oxman: Material Ecology ︎
Curated by Paola Antonelli
New York, NY
February – May 2020

Aguahoja II ︎
Neri Oxman and MMG
Curated by Matilda McQuaid
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Triennial
New York, NY
May 2019 – January 2020

Silk Pavilion and Totems
Neri Oxman and MMG
Broken Nature
XXII Triennale Di Milano
Milan, IT
May 2019

Aguahoja I Artifacts
Neri Oxman and MMG
La Fabrique du Vivant
Curated by Marie-Ange Brayer
Centre Pompidou
Paris, FR
February – April 2019

Aguahoja Pavilion
Neri Oxman and MMG
San Francisco, CA
September 2018 –

Aguahoja I Artifacts
Neri Oxman and MMG
Curated by J.D. Talasek
National Academy of Sciences
Washington, DC
March – July 2018

And The Wind Was Like The Regret for What Is No More
XV Biennial Symposium of Arts and Technology
New London, CT

Between Sea and Sun
João Costa and Brett Stiller
The Museum of Moving Image
New York, NY

Fábrica Bhering
Rio de Janeiro, BR

Galeria Casamata
Rio de Janeiro, BR


Fast Company’s 2020
Innovation by Design Awards ︎︎︎
Silk Pavilion II
& Totems
Finalist in Experimental Category

Fast Company’s 2020
Innovation by Design Awards ︎︎︎

Aguahoja II
Finalist in Sustainability Category

Dezeen Awards ︎
Winner: Sustainable Design of the Year 2019 and Design Project of the Year 2019

Prix Ars Electronica 2015 
Public Nomitation in Digital Music and Sound Art for And The Wind Looks Like The Regret For What is No More

Palo Alto, CA