Laura is a curator, stylist and designer working at the intersection of fashion, the mystical, and the history of science. Her work investigates the sensory experience of scales, speculative design in outer space, material culture in computing, and the ultimate pursuit of the techno-sequin.
Her current project with her studio collaborator, Leah Rosa Weinberg, slated to debut in the Fall of 2017 is Spacewalk, a wearable spacesuit sculpture that brings to life Cambridge's little-known role in the Space Race. In 1965 NASA broke ground on a massive 29-acre research park between MIT and Harvard with the idea to integrate research and artistic practices from the surrounding academic communities into their space programs. The unfinished research complex -- and the link to Cambridge -- was shut down and abandoned four years later. Through speculative design, 7-foot spacesuit re-imagines what human participation in space might look like had NASA remained connected to the local community.
Previously, their studio created the Stethosuit: a wearable bodice designed to synchronize the body's inner soundscape with the cosmo's vibrations. Using NASA's recently released transmuted audio of Voyager 2's travels through our solar system, the garment harmonizes naturally occurring micro and macro rhythms across timescales. It debuted on the catwalk at La Republic in Berlin as part of the 36-hour Fashion Hack Day marathon.
More recently, she curated BODY POLITIC, a show at OPEN in Boston, MA, which deployed wearable objects and technologies against a shifting political climate. The work from eleven artists outlined opportunities to resist entrenched social power structures: sculptures, dresses, lipstick and a spacesuit depict alternately hopeful and bleak visions of a tech-enabled, "inclusive" future.
As part of her earlier research in wearable technologies, with Dr. Beth Altringer, Laura co-designed a winter term module that took Harvard students to New York City to conduct field work with leading fashion designers and technologists. The students' projects grappled with questions which ranged from which qualities make a wearable tech product (un)desirable, to what modes of research and design are most successful. Their findings culminated in a presentation at Parsons School of Design at the end of the session.
Previously, she was the Wheatland Curatorial Fellow in Harvard’s History of Science department with the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, where she researched and developed the permanent exhibit for 1944's Mark-1, the world's first programmable computer. She contributed to a range of shows including a retrospective on the Rorschach ink blots; chatbots and the history of artificial intelligence; and science pedagogy during the Cold War. She directed a collection of experimental and ethnographic short videos documenting life at hackerspaces and the scientific method, and has shown her work around the US, including Somerville Film Fest and Tribeca Hacks.
During the mid-aughts Indian tech boom Laura lived and worked in Bangalore, India as one of the first American employees at Infosys Technologies. While abroad she crafted international marketing campaigns and organized an invite-only annual tech conference for Infosys's top global clients. At the request of senior management, she redesigned Infosys's office dress code, balancing the values of conservative executives and young women engineers -- and Eastern and Western aesthetics. While living in India, Laura was an early advocate within the Blank Noise Project, a community founded in 2006 in Bangalore to end street sexual harassment through social media campaigns and non-violent street demonstrations. During that time Blank Noise launched an international, ongoing project, "I never ask for it", which counteracts the narrative that a woman's clothes can be justified as an invitation for sexual harassment.
A lifelong scifi nerd who loves clothes, she maintains Hack the Dress Code, a private styling practice advising academics and tech entrepreneurs. She's trained with some of the industry's leading personal stylists, including Stacy London, Luke Storey, and Lauren Messiah, and has witnessed the transformative power of a sequin.
She holds an AM in the History of Science from Harvard, where she studied how social robots' style and design influence people's relationships with them. She also holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Georgetown University and a certificate in personal styling from The School of Style. She lives and works in Cambridge, MA.