Iris Luo
Iris Luo
Ph.D. Student
Human Centered Design


Iris Luo is an interdisciplinary researcher, curator, and storyteller from China. Her academic background includes arts administration and human rights studies. Her research intersects pluriversal design, community organizing, de-archiving, civic/alternative pedagogy, and indigenous epistemologies, and is rooted in a trans-local context.

From 2020 to 2023, Iris conducted research on art as an intervention in rural China and the cultural ecology of Maya textiles in Guatemala. Currently, she is working on the theory of "the Ocean as Paradigm" to ontologically shift the narrative of world-building. From 2024-2025, Iris is a research fellow at the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research (CAD+SR) in the year of "The After School".

I practice curation and study curatorial strategy through the lens of historiography to social design. I focus on the collaboration between grassroots collectives with/in institutional settings and alternative knowledge production through action.

In the context of museology and anthropology, I study the application of indigenous philosophies to post-development theories and place-based design. By seeing tradition in transition rather than passively in the past, I study how to commercialize intangible cultural heritage, such as craftsmanship, by connecting the local artisan community with the global market.

Trans-locality is the main framework I use, and I am currently working on the theory of "the Ocean as Paradigm" to ontologically shift the narrative of world-building by prioritizing relationality as the essence of existence.

2023, M.A., Human Rights and the Arts, Bard College

2021, M.F.A., Theatre Management & Producing, Columbia University

2018, B.A., Finance, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics

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