MIT professor Neri Oxman: She’d love to do a project with Brad Pitt, but she isn’t dating him

Neri Oxman in 2012.
Globe Staff/File
Neri Oxman in 2012.

Neri Oxman is an MIT professor, an architect, and a designer. She is the head of the Mediated Matter group at MIT’s Media Lab, where she and her team focus on “nature-aided design and design-aided nature,” according to the group’s website. One of her most distinct works is a geodesic dome built by a combination of 3-D printing and live silkworms.

What she isn’t, she says, is a paramour of actor Brad Pitt.

Oxman, who will appear at HUBweek 2018 on Friday as part of a panel discussing the future of cities, energy, and mobility, briefly became tabloid fodder earlier this year after Pitt visited Oxman at MIT. One British tabloid’s headline read, “Brad Pitt and MIT genius Neri Oxman pose together in previously-unseen snap as SIX MONTH relationship is revealed.”


Oxman, however, told The New York Times in an article published Saturday that she and Pitt are not an item, and that she is actually dating hedge funder William A. Ackman.

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Oxman did tell the Times that she considers Pitt “the last of the Mohicans in post-Netflix Hollywood,” and that she would love to work with him on a project in the future.

“He brings together the timely and the timeless,” Oxman told the Times, “which is what cinema is all about.”

Oxman also admitted to having a bit of fun with paparazzi when they began staking out the Media Lab. Instead of carrying a trendy handbag, she conspicuously carried copies of the Feynman Lectures, a well-regarded series of physics textbooks, and the Golden Record, a vinyl album that was taken to the moon in the 1970s to serve as an audio time capsule of Earth for extraterrestrials.

“The Golden Record beats the Caviar quilted flap bag on any given day,” Oxman said. “Toting the ultimate message to moon was my message in a bottle to the paparazzi. The Feynman Lectures followed.”

Kevin Slane can be reached at