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People  •  Art + Design, Architecture  •  Associate Professor

Sara Hendren


Art + Design, Architecture


  • MDes, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • MA, Cultural and Intellectual History, UCLA
  • BA, Visual Arts, Wheaton College


Sara Hendren is an Associate Professor in Art + Design with a joint appointment in the School of Architecture. She works in the area of Extraordinary HCI and Inclusive Design. She is a humanist in tech—an artist, design researcher, and writer about the extended and augmented body in public space.

Her book What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World explores the places where disability shows up in design at all scales: assistive technology, furniture, architecture, urban planning, and more. It was named one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award, and won the 2021 Science in Society Journalism book prize. 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.

Sara’s art and social design works have been exhibited on the White House lawn under the Obama administration, at the Seoul Museum of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Vitra Museum, and many others, and her work in held in the permanent collections at MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt. Her criticism and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, Wired, Art in America, and elsewhere.

Sara comes to Northeastern after nine years at nearby Olin College of Engineering, where she was the Principal Investigator on a four-year initiative called Sketch Model, bringing more arts and humanities experiences to engineering students and faculty, supported by the Mellon Foundation.