Research Seminar – Laura Forlano

Making Critical (More-than-human) Futures

Laura Forlano – Associate Professor, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology – The Critical Futures Lab

Thursday 30th January 4pm – Inspace, 1 Crichton St

*Unfortunately this video was cut short due to unforeseen circumstances*

How do you study things that do not yet exist? Designers are being challenged to find new ways of engaging in broader socio-technical systems and, at the same time, emerging technologies are changing the practices of design. Drawing on design anthropology and related fields, this talk extended the knowledge and methods of design based on 10 years of scholarship and practice that demonstrate a critical, participatory and speculative engagement with futures. Specifically, this talk drew on theories around the post-human and the more-than-human in order to understand the emergent aesthetics, ethics and politics. This presentation drew on examples of emerging technology across a range of scales including smart cities and autonomous vehicles, robots and the future of work, networked medical devices and computational fashion.

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 and Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology 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 PhD in communications from Columbia University.

Inspace, 1 Crichton St, Edinburgh EH8 9AB