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People  •  Art + Design, Center for Design  •  Associate Professor

Pedro Cruz

Pedro M. Cruz explores nature-inspired metaphors to portray data and information through design. He is an Associate Professor in the Art + Design Department at Northeastern University, teaching Information Design and Data Visualization. Cruz co-directs the Co-Lab for Data Impact and is a core faculty member of the Center for Design. His work has been featured in prestigious venues such as the London Design Biennale, MoMA, CES, the Museum of the City of New York, the Ibero-American Biennale of Design, SIGGRAPH, the IEEE VIS Arts Program, the ALIFE Conference on Artificial Life, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, FACTT Festival of Art & Science, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and in the Information is Beautiful Awards. Additionally, Cruz’s work has been showcased in several popular magazines including Fast Company, WIRED, National Geographic, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and Business Insider.

Before joining Northeastern, he was a PhD student at the Computational Design and Visualization Lab at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, where he earned his PhD in Information Science and Technology. He was also a visiting PhD student at the MIT Senseable City Lab in Cambridge and was a research assistant at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. During his studies, Cruz regularly collaborated with the design studio FBA in Coimbra.


Art + Design, Center for Design


  • 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 Thorp, 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
  • 2018 Winner Most Beautiful, Information is Beautiful Awards
    — Gold for People, Language, and Identity, Information is Beautiful Awards
    — Honorable mention, ALife 2018 Art Award

Research Focus

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

Courses Taught

  • Visualization Technologies
  • Information Design Studio 2 and 3
  • Information Design Thesis Seminar
  • Visual Communication for Information Design
  • Programming Basics
  • Prototyping with Code
  • Critical Design Research Seminar
  • Information Visualization Principles and Practices
  • Information Design Critique Seminar