Professor William Uricchio

Ias Spotlight Series: Design Leadership Summit: Applied Storytelling

Comparative Media Studies, MIT, USA

William Uricchio is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He is also founder and Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab and Principal Investigator of the Co-Creation Studio.

His scholarly research considers the interplay of media technologies and cultural practices in relation to representation, knowledge, and publics. A specialist in old media when they were new, he explores such things as early 19th C conjunctures among photography, telegraphy, and computation; the place of telephony in the development of television at the other end of the 19th C; and the work of algorithms in our contemporary cultural lives.

His current research examines interactive environments such as games, immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality, location-based Augmented Reality, and recursive algorithmic (AI) systems. William explores the narrative possibilities of these unstable media in which users can wander and construct their own textual paths, or experience texts generated in conversation with the system. He is interested in narrative as a cultural operating system, and the implications of expanded and co-created storyworlds for social cohesion. The recipient of Guggenheim, Humboldt, and Fulbright awards, and the Berlin and Mercator Prizes, William has also held professorial appointments in Sweden (Stockholm), Germany (FU Berlin, Marburg), Denmark (national DREAM professor) and China (China University of Science & Technology). His most recent book, co-authored with Katerina Cizek, is Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media Within Communities, Across Disciplines, and With Algorithms.