Sarah Williams

Co-Director, Columbia University's Spatial Information Design Lab

Sarah Williams
Sarah Williams is currently the Co-Director of Columbia University's Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) where her research has focused on the intersection between media, design, and urban planning. Williams is also faculty at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) where she teaches Intro to GIS, Advanced GIS, Crowd Sourced City and Spatial Data Visualization. The Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) which Williams’ directs uses innovative mapping and visualization techniques to highlight urban issues. The work of SIDL has been widely exhibited and written about including recent shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) and the Venice Biennale. Before becoming the Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab, Williams was at MIT where she started the MIT Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory and was a researcher at MIT’sSENSEable City Laboratory ( a joint research lab established between MIT's Media Lab and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning). Williams has a background in Remote Sensing, GIS and environmental monitoring and worked as a programmer for one of the first desktop Remote Sensing programs (IDRISI). Williams’ is trained as a Geographer, Landscape/Urban Designer, and Urban Planner – with a Masters degree from MIT’s in City Planning and Urban Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and History from Clark University.


Civic Hall
Personal Democracy Media presents Civic Hall, a one-of-a-kind community center for the world’s civic innovators. Located in the heart of New York City, Civic Hall is your home for civic tech.


Sign up for email updates from Personal Democracy Media and Civic Hall.