Jathan Sadowski headshot

Right now I am a Visiting Lecturer in Ethics of Technology at TU Delft. Soon I will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Smart Cities at the University of Sydney. In 2016, I finished my PhD in the "Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology" from Arizona State University.

Most of my research is focused on the intersection of technology, political economy, and social theory. My area of expertise is the social and political dimensions of digital information technologies, with a focus on "smart systems" (data-driven, networked, automated). I wrote a dissertation about the techno-politics of "smart urbanism." My new project will use urban ethnography to study the design and implementation of smart city initiatives, and the challenges and alternatives to smart urbanism by grassroots organizations. This project is informed by the theory of cyborg urbanization. By emphasizing how material, political, social, and spatial assemblages are made, how they interface with people, and what their implications are for society the theory of cyborg urbanization provides a useful tool for investigating and interpreting the (smart) city.

In general, I am interested in how issues such as power asymmetries, uneven development, and competing values influence the design and use of digital tech. I believe that by analyzing the institutions, interests, ideologies, and material conditions that influence how/what socio-technical systems are built we can then better engage with their impacts and guide their creation. To that end, my work is typically concerned with transformative technologies that are being used to shape society—at different scales, to different degrees, and by different actors—now and in the near future.

I am also a freelance writer. I've published features, op-eds, and book reviews about the politics/ethics of technology for many popular media outlets, such as The Guardian, The Nation, and Al Jazeera America. See the media tab for a list of my pubs. If you want to commission work, please contact me via email or twitter.

Email: J.W.Sadowski [at] tudelft.nl