Senior User Experience Researcher. 2018- . Verizon Connect.


Research Scientist. 2017-2018. Center for Urban Innovation, Institute for People and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Postdoctoral Fellow. 2015-2016. Center for Urban Innovation, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology.


Ph.D. in Digital Media, Georgia Institute of Technology, August 2010-2015

M.S. in Digital Media, Georgia Institute of Technology, Aug. 2008-May 2010

B.S. in Mathematics, Davidson College, Aug. 2003-May 2007

Publications & Proceedings

Taylor Shelton & Thomas Lodato. 2019. “Actually existing smart citizens”, City, 23:1, 35-52, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2019.1575115

Thomas Lodato, Emma French & Jennifer Clark. 2018. “Open government data in the smart city: Interoperability, urban knowledge, and linking legacy systems”, Journal of Urban Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2018.1511798

Thomas Lodato and Carl DiSalvo. 2018. Institutional constraints: the forms and limits of participatory design in the public realm. In Proceedings of the 15th Participatory Design Conference: Full Papers - Volume 1 (PDC ‘18), Liesbeth Huybrechts, Maurizio Teli, Ann Light, Yanki Lee, Julia Garde, John Vines, Eva Brandt, Anne Marie Kanstrup, and Keld Bødker (Eds.), Vol. 1. ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 5, 12 pages. DOI:

Shelton, T. and T. Lodato. 2018. “From smart cities to smart citizens? Searching for the ‘actually existing smart citizen’ in Atlanta, Georgia.”” In Creating Smart Cities, eds. C. Coletta, L. Evans, L. Heaphy and R. Kitchin. Routledge. pp. 144-154.

Gregg, Melissa and Thomas Lodato. 2018. “Managing Community: coworking, hospitality, and the precarious future.” In Affect in Relation - Families, Places, Technologies. Essays on Affectivity and Subject Formation in the 21th Century. Edited by Birgitt Röttger-Rössler and Jan Slaby. (pre-publication draft)

Lodato, Thomas. 2016. “Ethnography of Civic Participation: The Difficulty of Showing Up Even when You Are There.” In Data, Design and Civics: Ethnographic Perspectives (article series). EPIC, (May 2, 2016):

DiSalvo, Carl, Tom Jenkins, and Thomas Lodato. 2016. “Designing Speculative Civics.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘16).

Le Dantec, Chris, Carl DiSalvo, Tom Jenkins, Thomas Lodato, and Mariam Asad. 2016. “Object-Oriented Publics.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘16).

Lodato, Thomas James, and Carl DiSalvo. 2016. “Issue-Oriented Hackathons as Material Participation.” New Media & Society 18, no. 4 (April 1): 539–57. doi:10.1177/1461444816629467.

Lodato, Thomas and Carl DiSalvo. 2015. “Issue-Oriented Hackathons as Ad-Hoc Design Events.” In Proceedings for the Fourth Participatory Innovation Conference. The Hague NL, May 18-20.

Holmer, Hrönn Brynjarsdóttir, Carl DiSalvo, Phoebe Sengers, and Thomas Lodato. 2014. “Constructing and Constraining Participation in Participatory Arts and HCI.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (October 2014). doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2014.10.003.

Lodato, Thomas James and Daria Loi. 2014. “Where’s love in e-waste?.” In Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Industry Cases, Workshop Descriptions, Doctoral Consortium papers, and Keynote abstracts - Volume 2 (PDC ‘14), Vol. 2. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 195-197. DOI=10.1145/2662155.2667198

DiSalvo, Carl, Melissa Gregg, and Thomas Lodato. 2014. “Building belonging.” interactions 21, 4 (July 2014), 58-61.

DiSalvo, Carl, Jonathan Lukens, Thomas Lodato, Tom Jenkins, and Tanyoung Kim. 2014. “Making public things: how HCI design can express matters of concern.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2397-2406.

Acker, Amelia, Melissa Chalmers, Matt Burton, Grant Wythoff, & Thomas Lodato. (2013). “Learning with polyphony: AmpDamp.” IConference 2013 Proceedings (pp. 1090-1094).

DiSalvo, Carl, Thomas Lodato, Laura Fries, Beth Schechter, Thomas Barnwell. “The Collective Articulation of Issues as Design Practice.” CoDesign, Vol. 7, No. 3-4 (2011): 185-197.

Presentations & Installations

Clark, J. & Lodato, T. (2018). The Work of Smart Cities: Skill and Sociotechnical Change in the Smart City. Urban Affairs Association Annual Conference. Toronto, ON. April 4-7. (related post)

Lodato, Thomas and Jennifer Clark. 2017. “Wrangling Legacy Data: Preparing for Sociotechnical Change in the Smart City.” Georgia Tech Smart Cities Speaker Series. Atlanta, GA. August 25. (related post)

Lodato, Thomas. 2017. “Designing Participation: on the intermediation and branding of civics.” Presented at The 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association. San Diego, California. May 25-29.

Clark, Jennifer and Thomas Lodato. 2016. “Working in Cities: Co-Working Spaces, The Maker Movement, and the Rise of Flexible Urban Workspaces.” Presented at 56th Annual Conference for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Portland, OR. November 16. (related post)

Shelton, Taylor and Thomas Lodato. 2016. ‘Actually existing smart citizens’: expertise and (non)participation in the making of the smart city. Presented at Creating Smart Cities Workshop. The Programmable City Project, Maynooth University. Maynooth, Ireland. September 5. (video of Taylor’s talk)

Shelton, Taylor and Thomas Lodato. 2016. ‘Actually existing smart citizens’: expertise and (non)participation in the making of the smart city. Presented at Regional Studies Association North America Conference. Atlanta, GA. June 16.

Lodato, Thomas. “What is the Public?” on Public Space Design Panel. Center for Civic Innovation. Atlanta, GA. April 28 2015. (post based on talk)

DiSalvo, Carl, Melissa Gregg, Lilly Irani, Max Liboiron, Thomas Lodato, and Andrew Schrock. “Civic Hacking (panel).” Digital Labor 2014, The New School, New York City, November 14-16 2014. (position statements)

Lodato, Thomas. The Patent Multiple. Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting (Cleveland OH) Nov. 2011

Georgia Tech Vision Salon (Atlanta GA) Spring 2011: G01N 23/20, or, 15 Questions to Ask 30 Patents

01SJ Biennial (San Jose CA) Fall 2010: growbot Garden (as part of Public Design Workshop) (project overview)

BiodiverCity 47 (Washington D.C.) Fall 2010: growBot Garden (as part of Public Design Workshop)



Technology, Regions, and Public Policy (PUBP 6415/4843), Co-Instructor w/ Robert Rosenberger, Spring 2016

Urban and Regional Policy Analysis and Practice (PUBP 6604), Co-Instructor w/ Jennifer Clark, Fall 2015

Civic Media, Food Systems, & Interaction Design, Teaching/Studio Assistant (Carl DiSalvo), Spring 2013

Principles of Interaction Design (LCC 3710), Instructor, 2010-11

Mobile Interventions (LCC 6215), Teaching Assistant (Michael Nitsche), Spring 2010

Construction of the Moving Image (LCC 2730), Teaching Assistant (Michael Nitsche), Fall 2009

High School Mathematics, Teaching Fellow, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School (Rabun Gap GA), 2007-08


Georgia Smart Communities Workshop. 2017. At Atlanta Regional Commission (Atlanta GA): July. (event recap; design documentation)

PARSE ATL. 2016. At Atlanta City Studio, with Public Design Workshop (Atlanta GA): September. (documentation)

Design Thinking for Social Entrepreneurs. 2015. At Center for Civic Innovation (Atlanta GA): Spring.

Design Tool Prototyping. 2015. At Parsons the New School for Design (NYC): February.

Where’s the Love in E-Waste. 2014. At Participatory Design Conference (Windhoek, Namibia): October.

Food Data Hack. 2013. At Public Design Workshop (Atlanta GA): March. (project recap)

growBot Garden. 2009-2010. At Public Design Workshop (Atlanta GA & San Jose CA): Spring & Fall. (overall documentation; learning activity design documentation; crypsis workshops)

Other Professional Activities

POLIS, a civic tech and smart cities speaker series. 2017-. Organizer & Moderator. (POLIS ONE)

Notable Support

Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing (ISTC-Social): Collectivity & Creativity @ Public Design Workshop, Carl DiSalvo (PI), 2012-2015.