Cindy Lin is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the School of Information and Science, Technology, and Society Program. Her research focuses on how computational techniques transform environmental monitoring and enforcement in Indonesia. Her work has been published in leading computing venues including ACM CHI, DIS, and PD and has been featured in Social Text and CoDesign. She has worked in multidisciplinary collaborations such as Precarity Lab and co-directed DoIIIT, an interactive design studio.

︎ You Are the Ocean by Özge Samanci & Gabriel Caniglia



My dissertation project explores how the earth and computer sciences are practiced to regulate and prevent deforestation in Indonesia, centering on how algorithmic design and data technologies shape and redefine policing. My case studies include state cartographic labor and automated delineation of forest and plantation borders, as well as the design of early warning deforestation systems and national database infrastructures, each implicated in how multiple experts understand nature, legality, and the prevention of forest destruction.


Exploring the development of an early warning deforestation system in Indonesia

Working with engineers, remote sensing scientists, computer scientists, and technicians building their own drones and algorithms to better monitor forest loss and oil palm expansion


Learned how remote sensing scientists, geodesists, and geospatial data operators labor on the automated classification of forest and non-forest land and prediction of future land use in Borneo

Studied how drone aircrafts are used as technologies for state forest mapping throughout Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia



Taught by drone technologists and land activists new ways to image and map land expropriated by palm oil and mining corporates in Pontianak, West Kalimantan

Observed how geospatial data operators, field surveyors, and Indonesian pioneers in remote sensing devise new protocols to map the world’s fastest forest clearing nation: Indonesia


Making the ‘The Future of Work’ Work (2018-present)

This research is lead by Dr. Silvia Lindtner through her NSF Convergence Awards #1744359. This project brings together scholars and tech practitioners who experiment with new forms of tech work outside the large corporate and university laboratories and those with experience in studying the economic, social, and political processes of tech work, labor, and industries. In this project, I am a co-organizer and coordinator of the Future of Work workshop which focuses on the potential exclusions, opportunities, and political alternatives emerging from such new labor arrangments.

Precarity Lab: A Humanities Collaboratory Initiative (2017-present)

Since August 2017, I am a research assistant to Precarity Lab, a research collective that studies the various forms of insecurity, vulnerability, and social and cultural exclusions that digital platforms produce and mediate. Our first co-authored writing will be published in Social Text by Duke University Press. We are currently preparing for a Book Sprint at the Banff Centre in May 2019.

DIY Hacking and Making (2014-present)

This ethnographic and design research developed from my earlier thesis project on DIY science, biology, and making in Indonesia and Singapore. I worked and coproduced tools, exhibitions, and workshops with a network of tinkerers, technologists, media artists, engineers, and biologists to question and claim the legitimacy of innovations and technoscientific knowledge from the region. It has resulted in a (co-authored with Silvia Lindtner) proceeding at PDC 2016, a (co-authored with Silvia Lindtner) journal article in CoDesign, and a (co-authored with Marketa Dosjelova) workshop paper at CHI 2016. I also co-authored a ACM TOCHI survey article on DIY making with Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, Cindy Lin, Silvia Lindtner and Austin Toombs.

More soon.

Other Projects