Briefly Noted: What Can a Body Do?

One recent arrival to our office library is artist, design researcher, and educator Sara Hendren’s book What Can a Body Do? Some of us have been following Hendren’s writing, public projects, and advocacy since her 2013 essay “All Technology Is Assistive” and we’re all excited to dig in to a book that reveals “the hidden assumptions on which our everyday environment is built.”

We’re also delighted that Hendren has received lots of publicity for the book, which has given us a sneak peek of its contents before the postal carrier slipped it into the office mailbox. An excerpt about the design of chairs ran in The Guardian; another excerpt, about a high-tech home Steve Saling designed for himself as his body began to suffer the ravages of ALS, ran in Slate. The always insightful Katy Waldman reviewed the book in The New Yorker and acclaimed its “profound conclusion[s]”. And Hendren was profiled in the summer issue of Humanities.

Learn more about and buy What Can a Body Do? at its Canadian publisher’s website. Hendren is being interviewed or giving lectures about the book’s ideas on a regular basis. Follow her on Twitter @ablerism for updates.