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Design + The Driverless City

January 25, 2018
6:00-8:00pm CST
IIT Institute of Design
565 W Adams St 7th floor
Chicago, IL 60661

Cities around the world are currently considering the implications of autonomous vehicles on the social, political, economic and environmental life of urban centers. How might designers understand and engage with the opportunities presented by these and other emerging technologies? How might designers insure that these technologies reflect our values and ethical commitments? What new questions will designers need to ask and what new skills and literacies are necessary in order to design for the driverless city? Illinois Institute of Technology's Nayar Prize finalist The Driverless City project was recently featured in The New York Times Magazine and in an exhibition at the Vienna Biennale. Join us for the first public presentation of the project at the Institute of Design along with an interactive discussion.


Laura Forlano, Associate Professor of Design at the Institute of Design
Laura Forlano, a Fulbright award-winning and National Science Foundation funded scholar, is a social scientist and design researcher. In addition to her role at the Institute of Design, she is also Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Director of the Critical Futures Lab. Her research is focused on the aesthetics and politics at the intersection between design and 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 (MIT Press 2011). She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University.

Maryam Heidaripour, PhD student at the Institute of Design

In her research, Maryam is exploring new modes of entrepreneurship to address socio-economic inequality. In particular, informed by feminist theory, she is experimenting with novel methods to help communities imagining alternative futures. These collective imaginations are used as a conceptual resource to generate new models of society and motivate others into joining the struggle for social change. In recent years, she has been engaged in research projects that examine the impacts of emerging technology on society, among them, are digital fabrication technologies, autonomous vehicles, and more recently advanced manufacturing. She has also conducted a year-long project for socio-economic empowerment of disadvantaged women in Iran and Kenya, which led to designing an empowering platform for people at the bottom of the pyramid.