Turns out, Brad Pitt isn’t dating MIT professor Neri Oxman after all. Brad Pitt and Dr. Oxman were rumored to be seeing each other back in April when Pitt visited MIT’s Media Lab. According to People, Dr. Oxman “emphatically” denied dating the actor in a recent interview with the New York Times.
Dr. Oxman is a tenured professor at the Massachusetts Institue of Technology’s Media Lab, which “encourages the unconventional mixing and matching of seemingly disparate research areas” to create groundbreaking new technology. Dr. Oxman founded a discipline called material ecology, which unites synthetic biology and 3D printing. That technology has produced clothing made from a single piece of silk fabric, changeable glass objects, and compostable structures.
In April, Pitt visited the Media Lab, which caused the internet to speculate about a budding relationship between the two. One source told Us Weekly that Pitt was “absolutely smitten” by Dr. Oxman. According to Dr. Oxman in the New York Times profile, the two were never an item. Dr. Oxman said that she is actually dating William A. Ackman, a hedge fund manager in New York City.
Still, she said she would like to collaborate with Pitt in the future. Pitt has been involved in urban planning and furniture design, as well as architecture. He also founded the Make It Right foundation, a non-profit that works to rebuild post-Katrina New Orleans. Dr. Oxman had good things to say about Pitt, despite their lack of involvement.
She sees him “as the last of the Mohicans in post-Netflix Hollywood. He brings together the timely and the timeless, which is what cinema is all about.”
During the period when Pitt was visiting the Media Lab, paparazzi could be found hanging out nearly every day. To have some fun, Dr. Oxman carried a copy of the Golden Record, an LP time capsule that was sent into space in 1977.
“The Golden Record beats the Caviar quilted flap bag on any given day. Toting the ultimate message to moon was my message in a bottle to the paparazzi,” she said.
The MIT professor has also been on Björk’s radar. The singer approached Dr. Oxman in 2016 to collaborate on a performance mask that was based on Björk’s facial tissue.
“I sang a song called ‘Quicksand,’ which is about a nihilist goth-like person, so we aimed for biological goth. I remember looking at Mexican death masks but mostly talking about love, to be honest,” Björk said in an email.
Dr. Oxman has won numerous awards, including the MIT Collier Medal, London Design Festival’s Design Innovation medal, the Carnegie “Pride of America” Award, and Cooper Hewitt Design’s 2018 award for interaction design.