Molly Steenson

Molly Wright Steenson

Associate Professor (On Leave)

Dr. Molly Wright Steenson is on leave from Carnegie Mellon. She is the president and CEO of the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, a 90+ year-old museum and cultural institution that celebrates histories of craft, migration, and culture through enduring ties to Sweden.

She is a tenured associate professor in the School of Design and the inaugural K&L Gates Associate Professor of Ethics & Computational Technology and is affiliated with the School of Architecture. From 2021–23, she was Vice Provost for Faculty for the university. From 2018–21, she was Senior Associate Dean for Research in the College of Fine Arts. She holds a PhD in architecture from Princeton University and a Master's in Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture.

Molly is the author of the book Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape (MIT Press, 2017), which explores the radical history of design, architecture, and AI and the co-editor of Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019) with Laura Forlano and Mike Ananny.

From 2013–15, Molly was an assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught data visualization, digital studies, and led Mellon-funded research projects in the digital humanities. In the early 2000s, she was a resident professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Ivrea, Italy, where she led the Connected Communities research group. She was also adjunct faculty at Art Center College of Design in Media Design Practices from 2010–12.

Molly has worked with the web since 1994, including at such companies as Reuters, Scient, Netscape, and Razorfish. She cofounded Maxi, an award-winning feminist pop culture webzine in the 90s, and was one of the earliest user experience and content strategy professionals.