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Aiko Nakano is an artist, designer, programmer, and mechanical engineer currently based in the Bay Area. She explores augmented, mixed, and virtual reality as artistic media for interactive art, using kinesthesia and other tangible interactions to create experiences that remove the boundary between the real and virtual worlds. She is the creator of digiPop VR, a kinesthetic and sound interaction app for HTC Vive.

She is currently a UX Engineer at Google's AR/VR team, crafting experiences that explore new interactions with immersive computing. Previously she was a Design Technologist at Amazon Web Services' Sumerian [AR/VR] team where she focused on creating experiences that can inspire useful examples of AR/VR and AI, as well as providing tool sets that help Sumerian's customers to quickly create scenes that already solve the challenges of user interaction in VR and with AI-driven humanoid characters. She led and implemented user interaction toolkit for virtual reality, created open source demos using artificial intelligence features, and spearheaded the AI feature integration into the 3D content creation tool. She was also a Creative Developer at Sosolimited, where she designed and programmed kinetic sculptures and interactive data visualizations. Her other experiences include a web developer at Jado Interactive, an architect at Höweler + Yoon, an architectural consultant at Transsolar KlimaEngineering, and a hedge fund analyst at Fortress Investment Group. She combines her eclectic set of skills and experiences to create interactive installations in the physical and digital spaces by weaving together a story using data and technology.

Aiko received her Master of Science in Building Technology from the Department of Architecture at MIT in 2015 and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Minors in Economics as well as Management Science also from MIT in 2009. Her Master's thesis with Urban Weather Generator is the first simulation tool to incorporate the urban heat island effect into the urban design process and has won awards from the U.S. Department of Energy and the MIT Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling.

She was selected as the Artist of the Month by Better World Museum in December, 2017. In 2016, digiPop was selected for the Mpls Center for Digital Art INTER:CONNECTED Contemporary Art Exhibit. In 2014, her kinetic sculpture Bloom won the MIT Council for the Arts Grant and the competition for the Harvard Yard Arts Festival, and it was published in GSD Platform 7 and designboom. Her kinetic origami furniture Sprout was the finalist in MIT's $100K Pitch Contest.

She has worked on projects for Twitter, MIT, Harvard University, the City of Boston, Singapore National Research Foundation, and the US Department of Energy. Most recently, her work on Diffusion Choir with Sosolimited has won Design & Art Direction Award (Graphite Pencil), Art Directors Club Award (Silver Cube), and Creative Review Annual (Featured Work for Craft and Technical Innovation) in 2017.

Connect ++

I'm always up for collaborating on interesting things.

[email protected]


Most of my projects are in private repo's. Code samples available upon request.

* Please contact [email protected] for questions regarding Urban Weather Generator.

* Please contact the Amazon Sumerian team for any questions related to Amazon Sumerian.



  • 2016
    Mpls Center for Digital Art INTER:CONNECTED Contemporary Art Exhibit [digiPop]
  • 2016
    Consumer Electronics Show [CES] 2016 for Twitter [Twitter Heart, with Sosolimited]
  • 2015
    Lawn on D Public Art, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority [Swingtime, with Höweler and Yoon Architecture]
  • 2015
    MIT Museum, Shortlisted for exhibition [digiPop]
  • 2014
    Harvard Yard Arts Festival [Bloom]

Publications & Talks