Sara Hendren is an artist, design researcher, writer, and professor at Olin College of Engineering. She is the author of What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World, published by Riverhead/Penguin Random House. Sign up for her newsletter here.
Sara is a humanist in tech. She’s interested in all the ways that ideas show up in the shapes of things: design, engineering, artifacts, material culture of all kinds. (You can find a bunch of design lab projects here.) Her work of 2010-2020 includes collaborative public art, social design, and writing that engages the human body and technology, much of it around the condition 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 has a long-running obsession with the inclined plane. She’s at work on a second book about classical mechanics.
Sara’s 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. She has been a National Fellow at the New America think tank, and her work has been supported by an NEH Public Scholar grant, residencies at Yaddo and the Carey Institute for Global Good, and an Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. At Olin, she is also the Principal Investigator on a three-year initiative to bring more arts experiences to engineering students and faculty, supported by the Mellon Foundation.