Event

Media Lab Perspectives: Can a lab be an undivided house? with Sara Hendren

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Sara Hendren

Sara Hendren

Thursday
December 9, 2021
12:00pm — 1:00pm ET

Can a lab be an undivided house? Making room for critique and repair in tech

We hope you'll join us for this segment of the Media Lab Perspective Series, where Future Sketches group head Zach Lieberman will moderate a conversation with Sara Hendren, a professor at Olin College of Engineering.

Plenty of technology environments make sweeping claims for mixing the arts and engineering. Call it STEAM, or maker culture, or interdisciplinarity by any name: there's no shortage of optimism that what is technologically functional might also be beautiful—or elegant, or surprising, or otherwise aesthetically pleasing—and that these complementary features, wed to strong ethics, create desirable social futures. But there's a missed opportunity in most laboratory environments for a much deeper engagement between the arts, humanities, and engineering. In this talk, Sara Hendren explores ideas of critique and repair for building a thriving laboratory culture.

A link to the public livestream will be posted on this page before the event begins.

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Sara Hendren

Speaker Bio

Sara Hendren is a humanist in tech—an artist, design researcher, writer, and professor at Olin College of Engineering. Her collaborative design projects of the last decade reframe the body, technology, and the conditions of disability. Her work has been exhibited around the world—on the White House lawn under the Obama administration, at the V&A, the Vitra Museum, the Seoul Museum of Art, and others—and is held in the permanent collections at MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt. Her book What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World explores the places where disability shows up in design: an inventive tradition of remaking our everyday tools and environments that also carries the highest human stakes. It was named one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR and the winner of a Science in Society Journalism prize. She has been a Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good and a Public Scholar grantee from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 2021-22, she is a fellow in Education Policy at the New America think tank, where she is researching the future of work for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities.

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