IFCI was founded in 2014 to advance the study of humor and laughter. Our goal is to understand how humor works and uncover ways to effectively use it to connect people with each other and point out absurdities.

We create public experiments, performances, workshops, exhibitions, and events.


We believe humor…

- can bring people together and provide comedic relief.

- is possibly the best approach for instigating a change in thought and behavior.

- can shine a spotlight on corruption and help to correct social, economic, and political misalignments.

- is under applied and the tools of comedy need to be made widely available.

Meet our team of humorists, researchers, and creative collaborators.


Laura Allcorn, Founder + Lead Researcher

Laura Allcorn is an experience designer, humorist, and researcher. Her work focuses on how humor connects people to each other and new ideas–especially the ones that challenge narrow assumptions. She creates interactive objects and performances that point out absurdities through a technique she calls participatory satire. She has studied satire writing, improvisation, sketch, and stand-up comedy with Second City, Curious Comedy, Brody Theater, and ComedySportz. Laura earned an MFA in Applied Craft and Design at Pacific Northwest College of Art where she focused on speculative design. She's also a graduate of the Center For Artistic Activism Art Action Academy.

Her work has been shown at Science Gallery in Dublin; CCCB in Barcelona; ArtScience Museum in Singapore; Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome; Design Week Portland, Bridgetown Comedy Festival; Portland Fashion Week; and featured in Wired UK, The Guardian, GOOD, Dwell, and Design Bureau Magazine. 

Projects: synthHAsizer, I Cry When I Laugh, The Human Pollination Project, Portland Laugh Line, Pantsuit Power Walk for Hillary, Islike the AI Comedy Robot


Thomas Wester, Collaborator

Thomas Wester works as an independent creative and technical director. Over the last 15 years he has blended digital and physical to create meaningful interactive experiences. His ever curious, ever inquisitive nature results in a wide and deep knowledge of both the creative and technical process with regards to producing for the interactive medium. Over a period of 12 years he built the technical practice at Second Story, establishing an interdisciplinary, experimental approach that uses technology as incubator for design innovation. He has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Archives, Library of Congress, Hermès, Coca Cola, Target, MoMA and MFA Boston and exhibited at Tribeca and Sundance. 

Projects: synthHAsizer, Islike the AI Comedy Robot


Sorob Louie, Collaborator

Originally from Tehran, Sorob's diverse background in electronics and interactive programming, fused with a strong interest in emerging technologies, guides his passion for creating experiences that explore the possibilities of communication. Through 3D design and animation, prototyping, research, and programming, his work as an interactive developer supports multiple aspects of the development process. Sorob holds a BS in Digital Arts from the University of Oregon and continues to expand professionally through his work.

Project: Portland Laugh Line

Want to talk humor? Send me a note at laura.allcorn@gmail.com