LAURA FORLANO

Contributed Articles

How New is the New? Reflecting on How to Design for Tomorrow through the Case of Autonomous Vehicles

An EPIC2021 Sponsored Panel by Waymo Moderator: MELISSA CEFKIN (Waymo) Panelists: BENEDIKT FISCHER (Waymo), LAURA FORLANO (IIT Institute of Design), JACK STILGOE (University College London) How do we anticipate the futures of the things we are bringing into the world, and the experiences they will help shape? The autonomous vehicle is posited as a net-new innovation. Never before have vehicles without human drivers at the helm roamed the same streets that we traverse daily while on a jog or in a bleary-eyed morning search for a cuppa-joe. Someday soon(ish) you may hail a fully autonomous ride for a trip to the office or for the once-in-a-lifetime race to the hospital for the birth of a first born. What a fantastically new product and world this will be! Or will it? How much are innovators tweaking and updating the existing, instead of inventing the new? Join us for a conversation between members of the Waymo Insights team and invited panelists to explore “how new is the new?” Following decades of imagination, development,...

Ethnographies of Future Infrastructures

by LAURA FORLANO, IIT Institute of Design Article 4 in the series Data, Design and Civics: Ethnographic Perspectives On April 1, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced a $317 million federally funded initiative in textile innovation and manufacturing—a national consortium of public and private organizations to be led by MIT. It’s only the most recent project of the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a major effort to re-invigorate the American economy. This ambitious initiative to build manufacturing infrastructure nationwide plans an initial network of 45 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes over 10 years. Led by non-profit organizations, the institutes partner universities, businesses and government agencies with the aim of bridging the gap between basic and applied research in key manufacturing areas such as additive manufacturing (eg, 3D printing), digital manufacturing, lightweight metals, semiconductors, advanced composites, flexible hybrid electronics and integrated photonics. The...