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Sara Hendren and Wendy Jacob at MIT Architecture

  • Room 7-429, Long Lounge, MIT 189 Hamilton Street Cambridge, MA 02139 (map)

Environment Hacks: Sara Hendren and Wendy Jacob

Part of the Fall 2018 Experiments in Pedagogy
Architectural Access: Code and Care is organized by alumni Gabriel Cira and Emily Watlington
Lecture: Room 7-429, Long Lounge

Environment Hacks

This duet-lecture showcases critical and experimental attitudes toward designing for disability enabled by artistic practice, often approaching design from the bottom-up through user-generated hacks.


SARA HENDREN is an artist, design researcher, writer, and professor at Olin College. Her work includes social design projects and mixed media collaborations that engage technology and the adaptive human body. Combining disability studies and critical design, her practice is a restless mix of engineering and the arts in pursuit of sharper questions about human capacity, worth, and interdependence. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad and is held in the permanent collections at MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. She is a fellow at the New America think tank and is at work on her first book, on the unexpected places where disability is at the heart of design, forthcoming from Riverhead/Penguin Random House.

Prosthetics and assistive technologies live in the research paradigm of rehabilitation engineering, but the possibilities for design and disability extend far beyond replacement parts. This talk will show collaborative design work from her own practice and invite attendees to reconsider the extended human body in all its forms as a site of invention, creativity, and urgent political stakes that are shared by everyone.


WENDY JACOB is an artist whose work explores the interface between the body and the physical world. Her works includes sculptures, installations and performances; walls and ceilings that breathe, chairs that embrace, and floors that resonate with low-frequency vibration. 

Jacob will talk about her work exploring the tactile dimensions of sound and language, including a series of architectural interventions inspired by her work with deaf students at Gallaudet University.