The Infrastructures Research Group (IRG) is a collection of projects that use ethnography to understand the formal and informal politics that affect global access to urban infrastructures like railroads, water pipes, and electricity. In an ideal world, governments would provide all citizens with access to urban infrastructures in an equal and fair manner. Yet as the infrastructures of developed nations crumble, and the demand for them outpaces their construction in developing nations, many citizens are left trying to access water, public transportation, and sewage systems through informal means.
This research cluster acknowledges that technology and the built environment are much more political and social than they may appear. While the projects differ in geographic focus such as Indonesia, China, and Canada, and explore diverse infrastructures like public transportation and high-speed internet networks, the projects all seek to make sense of the role such technological structures play in the lives of citizens from around the world.