• Art + Design

Pedro M. Cruz

Assistant Professor

Pedro Cruz explores new metaphoric and figurative ways to visualize information. Prior to arriving at Northeastern, Pedro was an Invited Assistant Professor for 5 years at the University of Coimbra, teaching courses that connect design with technology. He was a researcher at the Computational Design and Visualization Lab/CDV, advising master students and leading visualization initiatives. He was a Visiting PhD Student at MIT Senseable City Lab in Cambridge and Singapore, working on visualization for cities. Prior to that, he collaborated regularly with design studio FBA on new media design.

His work was featured in several exhibitions around the world such as London Design Biennale, Ibero-American Biennale of Design, CES, MoMA’s Talk to Me, and SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival as well as in magazines such as Fast Company (Co.Design & Co.Create) and Wired (US & UK), and in specialized books.


  • Ph.D, Information Science and Technology, University of Coimbra


  • 2013 One of the ten most significant information designers in the world, La Lettura, Corriere della Sera, Milan. Panel: Jer Throp, Naomi Robbins, Alberto Cairo, Paolo Ciuccarelli, Andy Kirk, Carlo Ratti
  • 2014 Award for Design and Social Movements, 4th Ibero-American Biennale of Design, Madrid
  • 2016 PhD degree with distinction and praise
  • 2017 CAMD Excellence in Teaching Award

Courses Taught

  • Visualization Technologies
  • Information Design Studio 2 and 3
  • Information Design Thesis Seminar
  • Visual Communication for Information Design

Research/Publications Highlights

• Cruz, P., 2017. Adapted Dorling cartogram on wage inequality in Portugal. In Proceedings of the IEEE VIS Arts Program. Phoenix, AZ


• Cruz, P. and Machado, P., 2016. Pulsing Blood Vessels: A Figurative Approach to Traffic Visualization. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 36(2), pp. 16-21


• Cruz, P., 2015. Wrongfully right: applications of semantic figurative metaphors in information visualization. In Proceedings of the IEEE VIS Arts Program. Chicago, pp. 14-21


• Cruz, P., Cruz, A. and Machado, P., 2015. Contiguous animated edge-based cartograms for traffic visualization. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 35(5), pp. 6-13


• Maí_íŁs, C., Cruz, P., Martins, P. and Machado, P., 2015. Swarm systems in the visualization of consumption patterns. In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Buenos Aires, pp. 2466-2472


• Cruz, P. and Machado, P., 2014. City Portraits and Caricatures. In D. Offenhuber and C. Ratti, eds. Decoding the City: How Big Data Can Change Urbanism. Berlin: Birkhí_user, pp. 96-109


• Cruz, P. and Machado, P., 2011. Generative Storytelling for Information Visualization. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 31(2), pp. 80-85


Research Interests

  • Bio-inspired approaches to visualization
  • Computational art
  • Generative design
  • Metaphors in information visualization
  • Typography