Design’s Intimacies: Laura Forlano (Illinois Institute of Technology, USA)


Talk held on June 10th as part of the Public Lecture Series ‘Critical Perspectives on Technology’ organised within the project ‘Exceptional Norms: Marginalised Bodies in Interaction Design’ and the HCI Group of TU Wien.

More information at:

Talk Abstract

How do we imagine, design, use and maintain digital technologies in ways that allow all lives – human and non-human — to flourish? The answer to this question requires new understandings of what it means to be human, new conceptualizations of knowledge and expertise, new inventive methodologies as well as new ethical and political concepts. Drawing on an autoethnographic account of living with “smart” medical systems that draws on Haraway’s situated and partial knowledge, I develop the concept of the disabled cyborg, which suggests a different set contingencies and processes. Finally, I will illustrate the ways in which a first-person perspective might open up new questions and practices for design futures. How might we create a more generous understanding of human-machine relations?

Speaker Bio

Laura Forlano, a Fulbright award-winning and National Science Foundation funded scholar, is a writer, social scientist and design researcher. She is an Associate Professor of Design at the Institute of Design where she is Director of the Critical Futures Lab. Forlano’s research is focused on the aesthetics and politics at the intersection between design and emerging technologies. She is an editor of three books: Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press 2019), digitalSTS (Princeton University Press 2019) and From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen (MIT Press 2011). She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University.



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