The Royal Studio is a collaborative and derivative approach that challenges the performative and literary practice of design, instrumentalizing it as an artistic discourse. It often operates between the boundaries of identity, culture, and authorship in media arts and communication design. Insects have always been attracted to the light. It is yet to be designed an object that does anything other than to shape society. The Royal designs with words other than graphism, poems other than strategy, and builds to allow a world that is designed as a consequence. Experience and performative-driven, it is an artistic entity pushing within the creative boundaries of design.

  The Royal Studio

  Rua José Falcão, 156, S3

  4050-315 Porto, Potugal


  Design & Art Direction: hello@theroyalstudio.com

  Exhibition & Lectures: joao@theroyalstudio.com

  Press & Social Media: press@theroyalstudio.com


  • Otis MFA GD, I Know What I am Doing... Ha!, 2021, Los Angeles, USA

  • ESAD, Uma Faca Uma Flor Uma Artéria, 2021, Matosinhos, PT

  • ETIC, 2021, Lisboa, PT

  • SUMO Podcast, 2020, Porto, PT

  • PDP Conference Serbia, 2019, Novi Sad, PT

  • Plug&Play, 2019, Porto, PT

  • ADOR Moldova, 2019, Chișinău, Moldova, RO

  • MAD Summer School, 2019, Póvoa de Varzim, PT

  • Brief festival, 2018, Madrid, ES

  • FBAUL Crise de Identidade, 2018, Lisboa, PT

  • 28th International Biennial of Graphic Design, 2018, Brno, CZ

  • Let’s Talk About Design, 2017, Braga, PT

  • ESAD, 2017, Matosinhos, PT

  • European Design Awards, 2017, Porto, PT

  • Torino Graphic Days, 2017, Turin, IT

  • World Graphics Day, ESAD, 2016, Matosinhos, PT

  • ESAD, 2015, Matosinhos, PT

  • Ravensbourne University London, 2015, London, UK

  • ENED, 2015, Aveiro, PT

  • Comunicar Design IX, 2014, Caldas da Raínha, PT

  • World Graphics Day, ESAD, 2014, Matosinhos, PT

  • Get Set Festival, 2014, Porto, PT

  • Yaşar Üniversitesi, 2014, Izmir, PT

  • Push Porto, Circus Network, 2014, Porto, PT

  • ULP, 2014, Porto, PT

  • ULP, 2013, Porto, PT

  • 20x20x30, ESAD, 2012, Matosinhos, PT



  • ESAD, Uma Faca Uma Flor Uma Artéria, On poetic readings and sonic experiences through parametric and generative design in Touchdesigner, 2021, Matosinhos, PT

  • Here But Not Here, on collaborative design, environmental & performative design, visual systems to be upscaled, de-localization & space,
    180 Creative Camp, 2018, Abrantes, PT

  • To Be Brainless and to Stay Conscious Without Stealing Gum from the Taxi Driver, on collaborative design, graphic compositio & riso printing,

    Torino Graphic Days, 2017, Turin, IT

  • To Build vs. To Destroy, on collaborative design, graphic systems in experimental identity contexts, environmental & performative design,

    Ravensbourne University London, 2015, London, UK


  • Porto Design Biennale, Satellite Exhibitions, Porto, Matosinhos, 2019, PT 

  • Bolsa de Ideias 17, Links, along with Ana Resende, Matosinhos, 2019, PT

  • International Academy of Arts & Sciences, Public Service & Activism, Education & Discovery, Weird & Experimental, 

    Best Art Direction, Best Overall Social Presence, 2016—2020, London, New York City, UK, USA

  • Experimenta Design, As Far As The Mind Can See, along with Marco Balesteros & Mirko Ilić, 2015, Lisboa, Porto, PT


  • ESAD, A Story a Day Keeps The Virus Away, 2020, Matosinhos, PT

  • Um Por Um, I’m Leaving You, 2020, Porto, PT 

  • Design Biennale, Post Millennium Tensions, Millennials - Design do Novo Milénio, by José Bártolo, 2020, Porto, PT

  • Já Podemos Entrar em Pânico?, by José Guilherme Marques, 2019, Porto, PT

  • Bauhaus - 100 Anos, 100 Objetos, by Carla Cadete, Casa Museu Guerra Junqueiro, 2019, Porto, PT

  • Café au Lait, by Ana Martins, 2019, Porto, PT

  • 5ª Bienal Iberoamericana di Diseño, 2018, Madrid, ES

  • 180 Creative Camp, 2018, Abrantes, PT

  • 100 Dollar Bills Y’all, Circus Network, 2018, Porto, PT

  • Data Walking, A research project exploring data gathering & data visualisation, Ravensbourne Research Office, 2018, London, UK

  • Weltformat — Graphic Design Festival, The Moving Poster #2, by Josh Schaub, 2018, Zurich, CH

  • Porto Post Doc, Dragofly Eyes, 2017, Porto, PT

  • 36 Days of Type, by Nina Sans & Rafa Goicoechea, 2017, Barcelona, ES

  • Design by Porto, Porto by Design, 4 Anos de Design da Câmara do Porto, 2017, Porto, PT

  • Desejo, Tensão, Transição — Percursos do Design Português, ESAD—IDEA & Experimenta Design, by José Bártolo, 2016, Matosinhos, PT

  • Portugal By Design, by Jorge Silva, 2016, Lisbon, PT

  • Letters are What Matters, Caldas Late Night, 2015, Caldas da Raínha, PT

  • ESAD 25 Anos, 2015, Matosinhos, PT

  • 20x20x20, by Bolos Quentes, 2014, Porto, PT

  • Soirée Graphique #10, by KOMET, 2014, Bern, CH

  • Philantra, O Que Queres Ser Quando Fores Grande?, 2014, Póvoa de Varzim, PT

  • Âncora, Circus Network, Stray, 2013, Porto, PT

  • Take Away Porto, Em Cartaz, by Luís Mendonça & Rui Mendonça, 2012, Porto, PT

  • NFOACQFOD, on John Keats, by José Bártolo, 2012, Porto, PT

  • Red Bull Music Academy, by Dama Aflita, 2012, Porto, PT

  • Oporto Show, Chair, Skills Made of Douro, 2012, Porto, PT

  • Vandal Jackpot, by Dama Aflita, 2011, Porto, PT


  • 9–6, Basel, CH

  • Adobe, California, USA

  • Adult Swim, Atlanta, USA

  • Ágora Porto, Porto, PT

  • Alkantara, Lisbon, PT

  • Associação Comercial do Porto, Porto, PT

  • AVNGR, Porto, PT

  • Black Hand Path, Washington, USA

  • Brewbot, New York City, USA

  • British School of Kuwait, Kuwait City, KW

  • Centro Cultural Vila-Flor, Guimarães, PT

  • Coliseu do Porto, Porto, PT

  • Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City, KW

  • Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos, Matosinhos, PT

  • Câmara Municipal do Porto, Porto, PT

  • Doors Production, Kuwait City, KW

  • Elementi Magazine, Belgrade, SR, RS

  • Encontros da Imagem, Braga, PT

  • Esad, Matosinhos, PT

  • Esad—Idea, Matosinhos, PT

  • Facebook, California, USA

  • Fonoteca Municipal do Porto, Porto, PT

  • Fontlab, St. Petesburg, Panama, RU, PA

  • Galeria Municipal do Porto, Porto, PT

  • Human After All, London, UK

  • Lenahan Law, Dallas, USA

  • Maat, Lisbon, PT

  • Mickey McCooper Studios, Oppenheim, DE

  • Million Dollar Extreme, Atlanta, USA

  • Ministry of Sound, London, UK

  • Modus Magazine, London, UK

  • Monster Jinx, Matosinhos, PT

  • Morpheem, Stockholm, SV

  • Má da Fita, Braga, PT

  • Netti Hurley, USA

  • New Republic, New York City, USA

  • Ninja Tune, London, UK

  • Nomad — Viagens e Aventura, Porto, PT

  • Pigeon, Porto, PT

  • Porto Business School, Porto, PT

  • Porto Design Biennale, Porto, Matosinhos, PT

  • Portugal Fashion, Porto, PT

  • Prozis, Braga, PT

  • Slimcutz, Matosinhos, PT

  • Sine Language, Berlin, DE

  • TBWA, New York City, California, Paris, USA, FR

  • The Atlantic, Washington, USA

  • The Hospital Club, London, Los Angeles, UK, USA

  • The Lovie Awards, London, UK

  • The Unbabel, Lisbon, PT

  • The Webby Awards, New York City, USA

  • Wallpaper* Magazine, London, UK

  • White Haus, Porto, PT

  • WWD Magazine, Los Angeles, USA

  • Yahoo!, California, USA


João Castro is a member of the International Academy of Arts & Science, Member of We Came From Space, Researcher & Teacher at ESAD University of Arts + Design Matosinhos, Lecturer at PG Information Design Design & Illustration and Digital Animation at ESAD Arts + Design University of Arts + Design Matosinhos, Researcher at ESAD—IDEA, Founder & Designer at The Royal Studio (2010), Founder & Designer of the former Studio Degrau (2017—2019) & media artist on self-initiated projects. His decade-long work is focused on artistic-driven research practices and identity in cultural fields that range from editorial design to music campaigns, visual identities, spatial design, visual identities for festivals and exhibitions. Nurtures a polyhedric vision to grow and expand the market-driven limits of the design practice.