Dr Betti Marenko
BiographyBetti Marenko is a design theorist, academic, educator, public speaker and consultant.
Marenko’s background is in sociology, philosophy and cultural studies, and she has over 10 years of experience in design education and research. 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. Her work has featured frequently in international conferences, collections and peer-reviewed journals, including Design and Culture, Design Studies and Digital Creativity. She is a co-editor of the volume Deleuze and Design (Edinburgh University Press 2015), the first book to use Deleuze and Guattari to provide an entirely new theoretical framework to address the theory and practice of design.
Her work is located at the intersection of philosophy and design. Influenced by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, it examines the tension between design taken as a way of speculating on, and instigating, the future, and thought that addresses materiality, affect, the virtual and the nonhuman. She is interested in fostering lines of minor design: multiple ways of repositioning design in the 21st century as a problematising tool for thinking, making and creating change.
Marenko is currently writing a book titled The Power of Maybes: Between Prediction and Potential in Algorithmic Culture, which investigates the new contingent logic of planetary computation and its impact on society, publics and subjectivities. It looks at the production of algorithm-driven knowledge and suggests ways of re-imagining human-machine interaction through unpredictability, intuition, and minor practices. It asks what it means to be human in a world populated by objects designed to be smart. It examines the emerging nonhuman intelligence of smart objects, informed matter and sentient environments by focusing on the animation and contested materiality of the digital. Animism and digital enchantment are proposed as post-human, post-cognitive, post-user theoretical frameworks to speculate on alternative models of interaction between humans and digital objects and, broadly, between the human and the nonhuman.
Marenko is Reader in Design and Techno-Digital Futures, Contextual Studies Programme for Product Design at CSM. She is Visiting Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Prior to this was Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex, and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Urbino. Her earlier work focused on the practices and politics of body modification - specifically tattooing - analysed through the thought of Deleuze, Guattari and Spinoza, and she is the author of two seminal books in Italian on this subject: Ibridazioni. Corpi in Transito e Alchimie della Nuova Carne (Roma, Castelvecchi 1997), and Segni Indelebili, Materia e Desiderio del Corpo Tatuato (Milano, Feltrinelli 2002). Both are works of practical philosophy based on her extensive experience of, experimentation with, and reflection on permanent body marking.
- Marenko B, van Allen P. Animistic design: how to reimagine digital interaction between the human and the nonhuman (2016)
- Marenko B. When making becomes divination: Uncertainty and contingency in computational glitch-events (2015)
- Marenko B. Neo-Animism and Design. A New Paradigm in Object Theory. (2014)
- Marenko B. Body marking/mapping: embodied difference and strategies of deconstruction of identity. (2010)
- Marenko B. Is there life in bio-art? (2007)
- Marenko B. Museum Epidemiology (2003)
- Marenko B. Contagious affectivity: the management of emotions in late capitalist design (2010)
- Marenko B. Segni Indelebili: Materia e Desiderio del Corpo Tatuato (2002)
- Marenko B. Ibridazioni: Corpi in Transito e Alchimie della Nuova Carne (1997)
- Marenko B. FutureCrafting. A Speculative Method for an Imaginative AI (2018)
- Marenko B. Speculative Design. The body of the digital mind (2018)
- Marenko B. The un-designability of the virtual. Design from problem-solving to problem-finding. (2018)
- Marenko B. FutureCrafting. Speculation, design and the nonhuman, or how to live with digital uncertainty. (2017)
- Marenko B. Filled with Wonder. The enchanting android from cams to algorithms (2017)
- Marenko B. Incertitude, contingence et intuition matérielle: un cadre de recherche pour un “design mineur” (2017)
- Marenko B. Digital Materiality, Morphogenesis and the Intelligence of the Technodigital Object. (2015)
- Marenko B, Brassett J. Introduction (2015)
- Marenko B. Now I can feel myself! (2010)
- Marenko B. Object-relics and their effects: for a neo-animist paradigm (2009)
- Marenko B. The Eyes are trapped: Dario Argento’s ‘The bird with the crystal plumage’. (2008)
Conference, Symposium or Workshop item
- Marenko B. The Power of Maybes. FutureCrafting, or how to divine futures by design (2018)
- Marenko B, Benqué D. Speculative diagrams: plotting to reclaim algorithmic prediction (2018)
- Marenko B. Thinking about Future technologies (2018)
- Marenko B. FutureCrafting: Speculation, Design and the Nonhuman, or how to live with digital uncertainty (2017)
- Marenko B. Digital Uncertainty, FutureCrafting and Animistic Fiction (2017)
- Marenko B. Which design fiction for the post-Anthropocene? (2015)
- Marenko B. The Nonhumanity of Planetary Computation: or how to live with Digital Uncertainty (2015)
- Marenko B. Digital materiality and the Intelligence of the Technodigital Object (2014)
- Marenko B. Material morphogenesis. For an encounter between philosophy and design (2014)
- Marenko B. Digital materiality, morphogenesis, and the intelligence of the technodigital object (2014)
- Marenko B. Digital Materiality (2014)
- Marenko B. Deleuzian Design. The Adventure of Actualizing the Virtual by Capturing Material Stories from the Future. (2014)
- Marenko B. Commodity encounters: late capitalist re-design of the consumer pathosphere (2011)
- Marenko B. Designing futures: a Deleuzian take on design as embodiment of virtuality (2011)
Current research students
- Rebecca Breuer, Fashion beyond identity. The three ecologies of dress. (Lead supervisor)
- Guy Keulemans, Affect and the experimental design of domestic products. (Lead supervisor)
- Megan Rowden, The bond between maker, material and the audience; and the honour and conflicts of being a material led artist. (Lead supervisor)
- Neslihan Tepehan, Asignifying traits in design. (Lead supervisor)