Friday Five With Ari Melenciano


Ari Melenciano is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist and researcher who is passionate about exploring the relationships between various forms of design and the human experience. Currently, her research explores omni-specialization, multi-sensorial human-computer interactive technologies, experimental pedagogy and speculative design. (Consider our minds blown!)

Ari is the founder of Afrotectopia, a social institution that fosters interdisciplinary innovation at the intersections of art, design, technology, Black culture and activism. Ari briefly studied urban design and architecture at the Universitat de Barcelona while studying abroad in Spain for a year. She has a master’s from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where she is currently a teaching and research fellow. She is also a creative technologist at Google’s Creative Lab.

Today Ari Melenciano joins us for Friday Five!

1. Tiles of Passeig de Gracia
Living in Barcelona for a year was one of the most artistically stimulating periods of my life. I felt like I was living in art, every day. The tiles of Passeig de Gracia are one of my favorite parts of the city. They were designed by Antoní Gaudi and they literally shimmer in the sunlight.

2. Solange’s Stage Design
Solange Knowles’ stage design for her performances are truly ethereal.

3. Lorna Simpson’s Studio
Lorna Simpson once graciously invited me to her studio to talk with me about my art practice. After our conversation, she gave me a tour of her entire studio which was designed by David Adjaye. Needless to say, I left immensely inspired.

4. Teatre Museo Dali
The Teatre Museo Dali is my favorite art museum. I had never been more inspired by the wide range of capabilities of a single artist until I visited Salvador Dali’s museum.

Beyonce Black is King

Photo courtesy Disney+

5. Black is King
Beyoncé’s Black is King was simply one of the most beautiful pieces of visual media I have ever seen.

Work by Ari Melenciano:

Black cultural artifacts infused with digital sensors for sonic experimentation.

Ari Melenciano

Ari Melenciano

Ari Melenciano

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.