Laura Forlano, Institute of Design

Urban space? Tech it out! 

Laura Forlano's research interests lie at the intersection of urban infrastructures, collaboration, social media, and ubiquitous technology. It is there that opportunities exist for transformative interactions, new alliances, and bold thinking that extend across cultures, borders, and geo-political boundaries.

Forlano and her colleague Anijo Mathew at IIT Institute of Design have initiated a series of hands-on workshops with policymakers, community leaders, academics, and entrepreneurs to explore ways of improving the flow of information in urban environments through digital technology. The workshops are focusing on interfaces such as urban screens, mobile applications, websites, QR codes, and Wi-Fi routers and networks. They are exploring how these technologies might be embedded in urban spaces to improve the quality of city life.

"We want to inspire leaders with the possibilities that digital technologies offer for citizen engagement," Forlano says. "There is a need for public policy to help shape the ways in which digital technologies are being used in the city of Chicago and around the world."

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