Ellan Spero

MA (FIT) BS (Cornell)

MS (Cornell)

PhD (MIT)  

Visiting Fellow, FAR  


Ellan studies the ways people envision human progress, through institutional and physical structures and narratives they create. As a historian working at the intersection of technology, business, and higher education, her work draws connections between the ways people learn, produce, and maintain systems of knowledge and material culture.


At FAR, she analyzes landscapes of production in the 19th-20th century Swiss watchmaking industry. Her approach places emphasis on material culture and the built environment and aims to conceptualize moments of technological innovation within longer histories of social and physical infrastructures. She holds a PhD from MIT in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society, a BS and MS from Cornell University in Fiber Science and Apparel Design, and MA from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Museum Studies and Textile Conservation. Ellan lectures at MIT and is a co-founder of Station1, a non-profit organization that aims to build a new model of science and technology focused higher education, through inquiry, impact, and inclusion.

Top image: watches, TOMBESI (2018)