I’m a designer, artist, and educator who works on public projects in a variety of real-world settings. There are three typologies that define my body of work, and I identify differently depending on context: constituent-based, as a designer, conceptual, as an artist, educational as an adjunct professor. My work is informed by the values of Social Practice Art and Human-Centered Design.

I’ve served as a panelist and advisor for a variety of initiatives. From the Innovation Lab at the Center for the Future of Museums, to the AAM Program Review Panel, and as a Program Advisor for the Presidio Parklands projects and the Institute at the Golden Gate. Prior to public projects, I had a career in Interaction Design working with Xerox PARC, Salon.com, among others. I’m an adjunct professor in the graduate design program at California College of the Arts. I hold a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Colorado, and an MFA in Design from Stanford University.

Interviews and Press

Fast Company World Changing Ideas finalist for the Experience Station at the San Francisco Campus for Jewish LIving, 2022

Podcast: On Empathy, Community-Centered Design and a Healthy Dose of Curiosity, Interview with Maria Mortati, 2022

SCAN Foundation Honorable Mention Innovation Award, Experience Station at the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, 2021

The Scent of Hope, Using Essential Oils to Treat Dementia, An Interview with Maria Mortati, 2020

How Museums Are Creating a New Narrative (interview/podcast), 2020

Newscast, Baltimore Museum of Art Big Table Gallery, 2015

Public Art Review, Issue 53, Museums Go Public, Fall/Winter 2015

American Educational Research Association, 2013

Internet Cat Video Festival Ready for Minneapolis Encore, 2013

Possibilities for Evolution: Artists Experimenting in Art Museums

Any Questions? At the Oakland Museum

Can I Have an Idea, Walker Art Center Blog

Parks, the New Climate Classroom, Insights For Climate Change Communication & Education, 2014

Walker Art Center’s Open Field Returns for a Summer of Social and Creative Exchange, Press release, 2014

ARTS REVIEW | The 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival, Twin Cities Daily Planet, 2013

This Internet Cat Video Festival Documentary Is Just Purr-Fect, Huffington Post, 2013

Internet Cat Video Festival 2013, Walker Art Center Magazine

Launch of Machine Project Hammer Museum Public Engagement Artist In Residence Report, 2012

Machine Project Hammer Museum Public Engagement Artist in Residence (Report), 2012

What Can We Learn From Artist’s Projects In Museums? Iris, The Getty Museum’s On-Line Magazine, 2012

Experimenting in Museums: Taking Risks with How We Work, Art Museum Teaching, 2012

Making The Case for Experimental Design, California Association of Museums, e-News, 2012

New at Museums: Science for All Ages, Wall Street Journal, 2012

Maria Mortati – Power of Prototype, 2008

Sitting on the edge / Art furniture show in the Mission gives the mind new places to rest, 2003


Clients & Collaborators:

Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum
Asian Art Museum
Baltimore Museum of Art
Children’s Creativity Museum (formerly Zeum)
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Dallas Museum of Art
frog Design
Golden Gate Parks Conservancy
Gyroscope Museum Exhibits
– Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
– The Leonardo
– The Bishop Museum
Hope Lab
Intervista VRML
Jaime Kopke
Kathy Mancall
Lauren Allen
Machine Project
Mark Allen
New Mexico Highlands University
Oakland Museum of California
Phil Ross
Post Typography
Pseudo Studio
Rucker Design Group
Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
Sarah Schultz
Sasha Harris-Cronin
Scott Minneman
Silicon Graphics
San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living
Speck Design
Stanford University
Walker Art Center
West Office Exhibition Design
– California Science Center
– Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)