Marcelo Coelho is an artist, designer and researcher, whose work explores how physical and computational materials can be used to create new human experiences. Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Marcelo holds a BFA in Computation Arts, with highest honors, from Concordia University in Montreal, and a PhD from the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab.

Prior to moving to Cambridge, Marcelo was a Research Partner at XS Labs, where he worked on the development of paper computers, shape-changing garments and interactive textiles by combining ordinary materials and electronics through a broad range of craft and digital fabrication techniques. At MIT, his research focused on the development of programmable surfaces and amorphous displays that take full advantage of our senses and reveal new opportunities for computational aesthetics.

Marcelo’s art and design work has been exhibited internationally, in venues such as Ars Electronica (Austria), Design Miami/Basel (Switzerland), The Corcoran Gallery (Washington, DC), Dutch Design Week (Netherlands), Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial (France), The Creators Project (New York, San Francisco and Sao Paulo), The Tech Museum (San Jose), Riflemaker Gallery (England), and Johnson Trading Gallery (New York). His work has also won several awards including the W Hotels Designer of the Future Award, Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica, Honorable Mention from ID Magazine Design Review, and CHI Best Video Golden Mouse Award. Academically, Marcelo’s research has been widely published in books, journals, popular press and academic conferences. At the MIT Media Lab, he taught courses on DIY Manufacturing and Techniques for Design and Fabrication. He also organizes the Transitive Materials workshops, a series of multidisciplinary gatherings that bring together artists, designers, scientists and researchers working at the shifting boundaries between people, materials and computers.

Marcelo currently spends his time building large-scale interactive sculptures at Zigelbaum + Coelho and etching nano-scale drawings at the MIT Media Lab, where he is a Research Affiliate.


Amit Zoran and Marcelo Coelho. “Cornucopia: The Concept of Digital Gastronomy.” in Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Volume 44, Number 5, October 2011, pp. 425-431, .   [PDF]

Marcelo Coelho and Jamie Zigelbaum. “Shape-Changing Interfaces. ” Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Journal, in special edition Material Computing (PUC), 2011.   [PDF]

Marcelo Coelho, Jamie Zigelbaum and Joshua Kopin. “Six-Forty by Four-Eighty: The Post-Industrial Design of Computational Materials. ” In the Proceedings of Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction 2011 (TEI '11), 2011.   [PDF]

Marcelo Coelho, Ivan Poupyrev, Sajid Sadi, Roel Vertegaal, Joanna Berzowska, Leah Buechley, Pattie Maes and Neri Oxman. “Programming Reality: From Transitive Materials to Organic User Interfaces. ” Extended Abstracts of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '09). Boston, MA, USA., April 2009.   [PDF]

Marcelo Coelho, Lyndl Hall, Joanna Berzowska and Pattie Maes. “Pulp-Based Computing: A Framework for Building Computers Out of Paper. ” In the Extended Abstracts of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '09), Boston, USA, 2009.

Marcelo Coelho. “DinnerWare: Why Playing With Food Should Be Encouraged. ” in the Extended Abstracts of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '09), Boston, USA, 2009.   [PDF]

Marcelo Coelho and Pattie Maes. “Shutters: A Permeable Surface for Environmental Control and Communication. ” In the Proceedings of the 3rd Tangible and Embedded Interaction Conference (TEI '09), 2009.   [PDF]

Marcelo Coelho, Hiroshi Ishii and Pattie Maes . “Surflex: A Programmable Surface for the Design of Tangible Interfaces. ” In the Extended Abstracts of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '08), Florence, Italy, 2008.   [PDF]

Marcelo Coelho and Pattie Maes . “Sprout I/O: A Texturally Rich Interface. ” In the 2nd Tangible and Embedded Interaction Conference (TEI '08), Bonn, Germnay, 2008.   [PDF]