Annual theme "Hybrid Ecologies"
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2016/17)



Designing Ecologies

with Betti Marenko and Martín Avila


Betti Marenko


The design theorist Betti Marenko is reader in Design and Techno-Digital Futures at the University of the Arts London (UAL), as well as Contextual Studies Leader for Product Design at Central Saint Martins (UAL). Furthermore she is Visiting Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Her work at the intersection of philosophy and design investigates the tension between design taken as way of speculating on, and instigating, futures, and thought that addresses materiality, the virtual and the nonhuman. She is interested in repositioning design in the 21st century as a problematising tool for thinking, making and creating change. She is the co-editor of the volume Deleuze and Design (Edinburgh University Press, 2015) and her writing appears in several edited volumes, most recently: Believing in Bits: Digital Media and the Supernatural (Oxford University Press 2019), UnDesign: Critical Practices at the Intersection of Art and Design (Routledge 2018), Encountering Things. Design and Theories of Things (Bloomsbury 2017), as well as in the journals Design and Culture, Design Studies and Digital Creativity.


Martín Avila


Martín Avila is Professor of Design at the Department of Design, Interior Architecture and Visual Communication at Konstfack in Stockholm where he has taught previously as a senior lecturer. The designer and design researcher obtained a PhD in design from HDK (School of Design and Crafts) in Gothenburg, Sweden, and his thesis Devices. On Hospitality, Hostility and Design published in 2012 was awarded the prize for design research by The Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education in the same year. Therein he investigates the complex reciprocal relations between human and non-human actors as well as artificial devices and designs interventions within these networks, going beyond conventional user-centred approaches and cultivating ecologies as a design strategy. More recently he has continued this approach in his postdoctoral project Symbiotic tactics (2013-2016), which has been the first of its kind to be financed by the Swedish Research Council.