Dr Betti MARENKO
Central Saint Martins
BiographyDr. Betti Marenko is a transdisciplinary theorist, academic, educator and curator working across process philosophies, design studies and critical technologies to investigate the relationships between design, society and culture, and their role in shaping futures. Her transdisciplinary research across philosophy, design, and the critique of technology explores how future-facing speculative and pragmatic interventions can mobilize and amplify design practice.
Her work features frequently in international conferences, collections and journals e.g. Design and Culture, Design Studies, and Digital Creativity. She is the co-editor of Designing Smart Objects in Everyday Life. Intelligences. Agencies. Ecologies, with Marco Rozendaal (TU Delft) and Will Odom (SFU), a volume that offers a new research framework for interaction design (Bloomsbury 2021). She is also the co-editor of the volume Deleuze and Design (Deleuze Connections Series, Edinburgh University Press 2015, with Jamie Brassett), the first book to use Deleuze and Guattari to provide a new theoretical framework to address the theory and practice of design. She is Associate Editor of the journal Design and Culture.
As the Principal Investigator at UAL for the Erasmus+ project FUEL4Design [Future Education and Literacy for Designers] she develops curriculum innovation tools to think about futures and teach futures to the designers of tomorrow.
She is currently writing a monograph 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 examines how algorithmic governmentality shapes modes of knowledge-production and modes of existence, and suggests ways of reclaiming, re-imagining and re-crafting human-machine ecologies through unpredictability, intuition, and minor practices.
She is Reader in Design and Techno-Digital Futures at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London where she is also the Contextual Studies Leader for Product and Industrial Design since 2007. She is WRHI Specially Appointed Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology where she leads research on transdisciplinarity and the articulation of hybrid methodologies that can furnish educators, learners, and practitioners with agile tools of exchange, discussion and debate across arts, design, science, technologies and the humanities.
Prior to this she held teaching posts at the University of Essex and 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.