Re-Worlding Lecture: Laura Forlano

Re-worlding is a series of seminars and lectures to stimulate reflection and debate on research in art, architecture and design.

09 september 2022
14:00 - 15:00
Laura Forlano 1140X640 Laura Forlano 1140X640

Dit event is reeds afgelopen

Crip Futurity and Cyborg Disability: Embodied Design Practices and “Smart” Medical Devices

a lecture by Laura Forlano, Ph.D. Associate Professor Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology

This presentation illustrates how fashion, art and design might be used in order to explore themes related to cyborg disability. Drawing on a decade of autoethnographic observation and lived experience (Forlano 2017) on “smart” medical devices and, specifically, the use of “automated” insulin pumps by Type 1 diabetics, which has been framed through feminist (Haraway 1988) and crip (Kafer 2013) technoscience, I discuss the mundane everyday ways in which disabled people live with computational technologies such as algorithms, hardware and software. I examine three conceptual designs created in collaboration with fashion designers, artists and designers in order to explore themes around invisibility, labor, algorithmic harm and dehumanization. In contrast to an industry that is obsessed with behavior change and persuasive design, nudging “users” to abide by their rules, this presentation argues for new relations with data and devices fostered through fashion, art and design.

About Laura Forlano

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.

In 2019-2020, Forlano is an Institute of Advanced Study Fellow (IAS) at Durham University (UK), working on a project called “Material Imagination”. Forlano’s research is focused on the aesthetics and politics at the intersection between design and emerging technologies.

Over the past ten years, she has studied the materialities and futures of socio-technical systems such as autonomous vehicles and smart cities; 3D printing, local manufacturing and innovation ecosystems; automation, distributed labor practices and the future of work; and, computational fashion, smart textiles and wearable medical 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). Forlano’s research and writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal of Communication, She Ji, Catalyst, Demonstrations, Spheres, 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 is currently writing a book on the topic of the Cyborg (under contract with MIT Press). She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University.

This lecture is part of the Public Defense of the Doctoral Thesis by Patricia Domingues. The lecture is online, but can also be followed at PXL MAD, previous to the defense. See the timing below for more details.


  • Friday September 9th 2022
  • Location: PXL MAD, Building G, Elfde Liniestraat, 3500 Hasselt
  • This lecture can be followed at PXL MAD or online (Google Meet)


  • 13h45: Welcome
  • 14h00: Online lecture by prof dr. Laura Forlano (part of Seminar Seriesbroadcasted at PXL)
  • 15h00: Coffee break
  • 15h30: PhD Defense
  • 17h30: Opening exhibition
More information about our research:
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