Industrial Designer

29. Born in Petrópolis, Brazil
Currently living and working in Cambridge, MA


João Costa is a research assistant in the Mediated Matter Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. A Doctoral candidate, he focuses his work on the investigation of autonomous systems and sentient networks through the creation of rhizomatic mechanisms and spaces that embody specific processes and routines found in nature. João is interested in the possibilities of Posthumanist architecture through the study of non-anthropocentric environments.

Holding 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, João aims to bring nature as an agent in the construction of architectural spaces and structures, facilitating the dialogue between philosophy, science, architecture and art by furthering the multiple relationships between these different fields and the exploration of what he calls interspecies architecture.

Education and Research

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

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

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


Ongoing and past –

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


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

Cambridge, MA