Michael Joaquin Grey

Michael Joaquin Grey is an American artist, inventor, and toy designer based in New York City.

“For the past twenty years, Michael Joaquin Grey has been creating work that extends and plays with the boundaries of art, science, and media. His investigations revolve around the development and the origins of life, language, and form—as related to natural and complex systems. […]. Grey’s artistic exploration led to the invention of Zoob, a modeling system and toy that emulates dynamic and living systems. Most recently he has been exploring computational cinema andautonomic drawing with sound, motion, and video primitives.”[1]

“Grey’s work can be explicitly technological, utilizing supercomputers to generate and visualize self-organizing systems, and producing precious works of microscopic precision and great orders-of magnitude using stereolithography. At other times, the things he makes are extremely down-to-earth and tactile, invoking, if not demanding, haptic engagement with them. […] ‘On a certain level, it’s really very simple,’ he says, ‘ I’m just trying to figure out where I come from.'”[2]


  • 1990 Yale, Sculpture MFA
  • 1987 University of California, Davis, MFA program
  • 1984 University of California, Berkeley, Genetics BS University of California, Berkeley, Practice of Art BA

Selected Artwork

  • 1991 Jelly Lovers

Selected Article

Selected Award

  • 2003 Adobe Public Art competition Finalist
  • 1999 ID Magazine, ZOOB, Design Distinction
  • 1998 The American Toy Institute Award, ZOOB Early Childhood News, ZOOB, Director’s Choice National Parenting Center, ZOOB, Seal of Approval Lion & the Lamb Project, ZOOB, Top 10 Recommended Non-Violent Toy ASTRA, ZOOB, Top Ten Hot Selling Toys (American Specialty Toy Retailers Association)
  • 1997 Consumer Reports, ZOOB, “Soon to be a Classic”, Best Building Toy Dr. Toy, ZOOB, Top Ten Toy of the Year Family Life Magazine, ZOOB, Best Learning Toy of 1997 Family Fun Magazine, ZOOB, Runner-up Toy of the Year ASTRA, ZOOB, Top Ten Favorite Toy

Michael Joaquin Grey’s Homepage

[1] http://www.bitforms.com/images/pdf/biocv/grey_bio.pdf

[2] Edward A. Shanken, From Drips to ZOOBs: The Cosmology of Artist/Inventor Michael Grey, http://www.artexetra.com/Drips2Zoobs.pdf

Leave a Reply