Ari Melenciano

Rapid Response Fellow
2020 – 2020

Ari Melenciano is an artist, designer, creative technologist, researcher, and educator who is passionate about exploring the relationships between various forms of design and the human experience.

Currently, her research lies at the intersections of human-computer interactive technologies, social impacts of technology, counterculture, sound, multisensory experiential design, experimental pedagogy and speculative design.

Ari is the founder of Afrotectopia, a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation at the intersections of art, design, technology, Black culture and activism. Afrotectopia is most commonly experienced via their annual New Media Arts, Culture and Technology Festival hosted by Google. Afrotectopia also most recently developed The School of Afrotectopia, hosted by Verizon Media, and served 250 students through 2 weeks of free courses.

Rapid Response Project 

For Rapid Response, Melenciano is working on a prototype for a 3D rendered online interactive environment via webex titled üT¨u that aims to use experimental pedagogy guided by biomimicry philosophy, indigenous ancestral intelligence, speculative design, and whole systems practices for new forms of gathering, exploring, and experiencing the web. üT¨u simulates a utopian society rooted in natural intelligence, and is designed to be a digital render of a potential future that advances society for more equitable, humane, and sustainable ecological orientations.