Betti MarenkoBetti Marenko
Betti Marenko is a design theorist, academic, educator, public speaker and consultant.
She has a background in sociology, philosophy and cultural studies, over a decade of experience in design education, and proven leadership, communication and team-building skills. Her interdisciplinary approach brings together design studies, continental philosophy and the analysis of digital cultures to investigate the relationships between design, society and technologies, and their role in shaping possible futures. Betti’s work features frequently in international conferences, collections and peer-reviewed journals such as Design and Culture, Design Studies and Digital Creativity. She is the co-editor of the volume Deleuze and Design (Deleuze Connections Series, Edinburgh University Press 2015, with J. Brassett) - the first book to use Deleuze and Guattari to provide an entirely new theoretical framework to address the theory and practice of design.
She is currently Contextual Studies Programme Leader for the BA (Hons.) Product Design at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
My interdisciplinary research brings together design and philosophy to address the challenges of an increasingly uncertain world. The encounter of design and philosophy offers a way to interrogate matters of concern by exploring design’s potential to build better futures and to be a force for change. Specifically, my work 1) looks at the impact of planetary computation on humans, society and culture in order to question received notions of technology; 2) examines the shift - cognitive, ontological and epistemological - that is rewiring our human capacity to think and to make sense of the world; 3) develops tools to unpack technology as a socio-cultural construction and a material-semiotic assemblage of the human and the nonhuman. My current research addresses the following questions: How are technologies changing people and society? What does it mean to be human in a world of objects designed to be smart? What are the dominant narratives about AI and the role of algorithms? How can we use design to speculate in post-anthropocentric terms about the agency of the nonhuman?
Technology provides solutions to a range of pressing issues some of which are planetary. But providing solutions is only a part of the task. Equally important is to ask the right questions, and this can only be done by interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange. This is why I am incredibly excited to be taking part in the WRHI initiative. There is great potential in the interfacing of technology, culture and design studies and I look forward to be working with outstanding colleagues at Tokyo Tech and WRHI.
Interdisciplinary approach bringing together continental philosophy, design and digital cultures to investigate the relationships between design, society and technologies, and their role in shaping futures.
Co-editor of the volume Deleuze and Design (Edinburgh University Press 2015, with J. Brassett)
the first book to use Deleuze and Guattari to provide an entirely new theoretical framework to address the theory and practice of design.
Visiting Lecturer. Sociology of Culture. Faculty of Sociology, Università di Urbino Italy
Senior Lecturer. Cultural Studies. Faculty of Sociology, University of Essex, UK
At Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London:
Associate Lecturer. Contextual Studies. BA (Hons.) Product Design
|Since 2007 –|| |
Contextual Studies Programme Leader. BA (Hons.) Product Design
Coordinator. Bigger Picture Programme
|Since 2013 –|| |
Senior Lecturer. MA Culture, Criticism and Curation
Research Leader. Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design Programme
Specially Appointed Professor, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK
Queen’s Award for Higher and Further Education. Awarded to Product Design for world-class excellence. Special mention to “context-led approach to teaching”.
ー current publications
B. Marenko, 2018. The un-designability of the virtual. Design from problem-solving to problem-finding.
In UnDesign: Critical Practices at the Intersection of Art and Design <https://www.routledge.com/Undesign-Critical-Practices-at-the-Intersection-of-Art-and-Design/Coombs-McNamara-Sade/p/book/9781138695719>. Gavin Sade, Gretchen Coombs, Andrew McNamara (eds.) London, Routledge
B. Marenko, 2018. FutureCrafting. A Speculative Method for an Imaginative AI. <https://aaai.org/ocs/index.php/SSS/SSS18/paper/view/17484> AAAI Spring Symposium Series. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Palo Alto, California, pp. 419-422.
B. Marenko and J. Brassett (eds.), 2015. Deleuze and Design. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press
ー Book Chapters
B. Marenko, 2010. Contagious affectivity. The management of emotions in late capitalist design. In Negotiating Futures, Design Fiction. 6th Swiss Design Network Conference Proceedings, Basel. 134-149
B. Marenko, 2015. Digital materiality, morphogenesis and the intelligence of the technodigital object. In Deleuze and Design. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. 107- 138
B. Marenko and J. Brassett, 2015. Introduction. In Deleuze and Design. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. 1-30
B. Marenko, 2017. Filled with wonder. The enchanting android from cams to algorithms. In Encountering Things. Design and Theories of Things. Leslie Atzmon and Prasad Boradkar (eds.) London, Bloomsbury. 19-34
B. Marenko, 2017. Incertitude, contingence et intuition matérielle: un cadre de recherche pour un design mineur. In Biomimétisme: Science, Design et Architecture. Manola Antonioli (ed). Paris, Éditions Loco. 31-43
B. Marenko, 2018. FutureCrafting. Speculation, design and the nonhuman, or how to live with digital uncertainty. In Hybrid Ökologien. Susanne Witzgall, Marietta Kesting, Maria Muhle, Jenny Nachtigall, (eds). Zurich, Diaphanes AG
B. Marenko, 2018. The un-designability of the virtual. Design from problem-solving to problem-finding. In UnDesign: Critical Practices at the Intersection of Art and Design. Gavin Sade, Gretchen Coombs, Andrew McNamara (eds.) London, Routledge
B. Marenko, 2018. FutureCrafting. A speculative method for an imaginative AI. AAAI Spring Symposium Series. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Palo Alto, California, pp. 419-422.
ー Peer-reviewed journal articles
B. Marenko, 2009. Object-relics and their effects: for a neo-animist paradigm. MEI Médiation and Information. Special Issue: Objets & communication. 30-31. Bernard Darras and Sarah Belkhamsa (eds) Paris, l’Harmattan. 239-253
B. Marenko, 2014. Neo-animism and design. A new paradigm in object theory. Design and Culture. 6.2. Special issue: Design, thing theory and the lives of objects. Leslie Atzmon (ed.) London, Berg. 219-242
B. Marenko, 2015. When making becomes divination: uncertainty and contingency in computational glitch-events. Design Studies 41. Special issue: Computational making. Terry Knight and Theodora Vardoulli (eds.) London, Elsevier. 110-125
B. Marenko and P. Van Allen, 2016. Animistic design: how to reimagine digital interaction between the human and the nonhuman. Digital Creativity. Special issue: Post-anthropocentric creativity. Stanislav Roudavski and Jon McCormack (eds.) London, Routledge. 52-70