Event Information:

  • Tue

    Laura Forlano: About, With and Becoming: Designing Socio-Technical Futures around Labor, Fashion and the Body

    12:00pm-1:00pm2435 North Quad, 105 S. State St.

    Building on intersections between science and technology studies and design, this presentation explores several modes of theorizing making and making theory through the creation of and engagement with socio-technical artifacts. The first mode, about technology, discusses participatory and speculative practices related to a workshop on the future of work. The second mode, with technology, engages in digital design and fabrication from a project on computational fashion. The third mode, becoming technology, uses autobiographical design to reflect on disability and medical devices from the perspective of feminist (un)hacking. This presentation reflects on the aesthetics and cosmopolitics of these varied design practices as ways of inquiring about the world, building knowledge and prototyping alternative possible futures that embed values, ethics and responsibilities. These accounts serve to reconfigure traditional understandings of human-centered design and human-computer interaction towards practices that open up spaces for a deeper consideration of the importance of the role of the non-human in emergent design practices.

    Forlano is an Assistant Professor of Design at the Institute of Design and Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology where she is Director of the Critical Futures Lab. From 2012-2013, she was a Visiting Scholar in the Comparative Media Studies program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research is focused on the intersection between emerging technologies, material practices and the future of cities. She is co-editor with Marcus Foth, Christine Satchell and Martin Gibbs of From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement (MIT Press 2011). Forlano’s research and writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Design Issues, the Journal of Peer Production, Fibreculture, Digital Culture & Society, ADA, Journal of Urban Technology, First Monday, The Information Society, Journal of Community Informatics, IEEE Pervasive Computing and Science and Public Policy. She has published chapters for books including editor Mark Shepard’s Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space (MIT Press 2011) and The Architecture League of New York’s Situated Technologies pamphlet series and is a regular contributor to their Urban Omnibus blog. She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University.

    This presentation was recorded and you can view it here