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Aiko Nakano is an artist, designer, programmer, and mechanical engineer currently based in Seattle, WA. She explores virtual reality and mixed 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 currently a Design Technologist at Amazon Web Services' Sumerian (AR/VR) team where she implements user interactions in virtual reality as well as leads feature integrations and creates experiences using artificial intelligence. She is the creator of digiPop VR, a kinesthetic and sound interaction app for HTC Vive. Previously she was a Creative Developer at Sosolimited, where she designed and programmed kinetic sculptures and interactive data visualizations. She also has experience as 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.

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.


  • 2017
    Better World Museum Artist of the Month [December]
  • 2017
    Inst-Int Artist Fellow
  • 2014
    MIT Council for the Arts Grant
  • 2014
    MIT $100K Pitch Contest, Finalist
  • 2014
    MIT Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling workshop, Third Prize
  • 2014
    US Dept. of Energy Clean Energy & Empowerment National Poster Competition, Finalist
  • 2013
    Presidential Fellow, Full scholarship for the Master's degree
  • 2008
    Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society
  • 2008
    Pi Tau Sigma International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society


  • 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