Sara Hendren | A Better-Designed World

Sara HendrenSara Hendren was drawn to painting as a kid, studied it in college, then began to build her body of work and career as a fine artist, focusing on painting. Then, a series of experiences sent her in what, from the outside looking in, may have seemed like a very different direction, but from the inside looking out, what a completely organic and aligned expression of her blended passion to see, to create, to design and to be of service.

Now an artist, design researcher, writer, and professor at Olin College of Engineering, Sara describes herself as a humanist in tech, focusing on the intersection between disability – or the perception of it – and what she calls the built world, or how the world is designed to either support or dismantle freedom and autonomy based on our bodies and their capabilities. And if you’re thinking “well, this isn’t about me,” you’ll quickly discover how well-intended, yet misguided that assumption is likely to be. It’s about all of us.

Sara’s work over the last decade includes collaborative public art and social design that engages the human body, technology, and the politics of disability: things like a lectern for short stature or a ramp for wheelchair dancing. She also co-founded the Accessible Icon Project, co-created a digital archive of low-tech prosthetics, and her work has been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, The Vitra Design Museum, the Seoul Museum of Art and other venues and is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Her new book is What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World. 

You can find Sara Hendren at: Website


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