Designing Disability: A New Book by Elizabeth Guffey

Design Incubation is excited to announce Elizabeth Guffey’s latest book published by Bloomsbury Publishing, titled Designing Disability: Symbols, Space, and Society. This book describes the development of disability as an idea. Disability, accessibility, its institutionalization, acceptance, and integration is considered within the context of design history.

In collaboration with Design Incubation and AIGA/NY Elizabeth Guffey will host the upcoming panel discussion and workshop, Designing for and Teaching Accessibility, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. There are still a few seats available so register today!

How important is it for an author to have a significant social media presence and to demonstrate that to the publisher?

Questions: How important is it for an author to have a significant social media presence and to demonstrate that to the publisher? –SR 

Answer: Generally a social media presence is less important in academic publishing than in trade publishing (which are books for the general reader).

But obviously being able to utilise your contacts for promotion of the book is certainly a plus and may well reach people we wouldn’t naturally get to with our own marketing. 

It wouldn’t be a sticking point really though on whether a project was signed up – there are plenty of hugely successful academic authors who barely touch social media.

Your background, the project and the reviews are the most significant aspects for us.  It’s nice to be able to say when presenting a new book idea to our committee that an author has 10,000+ followers, and we would certainly exploit that with the author’s help, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the book will sell any better than one which relies on our own marketing contacts. 

With fairly limited marketing budgets across academic publishing, having a pro-active author, whether on social media or through other channels, is a big help in reaching the right people.

Louise Baird-Smith
Commissioning Editor – Design and Photography
Bloomsbury Visual Arts

“Ask the Editor” is a Design Incubation series, where design academics, researchers, and practitioners pose their questions to editors of books, journals, conferences and other academic and design trade publishing organizations. If you would like your questions answered by publishing professionals, send your questions to Design Incubation via the “Ask the Editor” form on our website.

Can an author approach more than one publisher at the same time?

Answer: This is an interesting question and one which has caused much discussion even in our office! 

Question: Can an author approach more than one publisher at the same time? -MR

Answer: This is an interesting question and one which has caused much discussion even in our office! 

In some cases, publishers will request that you only approach one at a time, but this isn’t always enforced in every subject or publisher.  Some editors I’ve heard will not consider a project if it has been sent to multiple publishers – the argument being that it can seem like you’ve just sent it out haphazardly to everyone, without fully considering which is the best publisher for you and the project.  It’s best to really consider who already publishes in the area you’re working in, where the best books are coming from and whether the reputation of the publisher is right for you (for instance, if you need a university press for tenure, or you need a publisher who double reviews the manuscripts, and so on).  As each publisher will invest time and money in the review process, submitting to various places is a difficult one, but you should certainly feel free to submit elsewhere if you haven’t heard back.

I’d personally say that given the fact it can sometimes take a little while to hear back from editors initially, it might be worth approaching a few to start with to gauge interest – however, it is best to be upfront about this, and certainly once you have had contact with an editor you need to make it clear to everyone if the project is also being considered by another publisher (for politeness as well as practicalities).  It is tricky if you were to get to the point of being offered a contract by two publishers at the same time without either knowing you’d been discussing the project elsewhere, especially as by that point there will likely have been a significant amount of input from the publishers and reviewers in developing the overall approach of the project.  Again, if in doubt have a look at the publisher’s website and see if there is guidance on multiple submissions.  And individually submitting the same project to several editors at the same publisher is generally poor form – if you’re not quite sure who to approach, try one editor and ask them to pass the project on to a colleague if it’s not right for them, or copy the editors into the same email so they don’t all end up individually assessing the same project.   

Louise Baird-Smith
Commissioning Editor – Design and Photography
Bloomsbury Visual Arts

“Ask the Editor” is a Design Incubation series, where design academics, researchers, and practitioners pose their questions to editors of books, journals, conferences and other academic and design trade publishing organizations. If you would like your questions answered by publishing professionals, send your questions to Design Incubation via the “Ask the Editor” form on our website.

Is there any difference between writing a single authored book and a co-authored book?

Question: Is there any difference between writing a single-authored book and a co-authored book? -AB

Answer: While different publishers or series may have set rules on when they will (or won’t) accept co-authored titles, in most cases, there usually isn’t a problem from the publishers’ side on this. 

Sometimes it can actually be a bonus where the book is interdisciplinary or has broad coverage where a single author couldn’t be an expert in all the content. My colleague is publishing a book on climate change in history written by a historian and a climate scientist together – it’s a massive selling point because we can say our book has holistic coverage and the science is valid.   

Something to bear in mind though is how to divide the work, and do you know you can definitely successfully work together over a couple of years? In terms of how you split the work is up to you – maybe you’d each write certain chapters and swap to read/edit the other ones, or you may have certain aspects of the book you’ll research individually, then write up together.  Generally, there would be a lead author, though this isn’t essential.  Saying all that, going above two co-authors can get tricky, so over this number, you’ll need to really consider if multi-authored is the right approach – an edited collection may then make more sense (a different author writing each chapter, with overall editors who commission individual chapters).  Another consideration is that any royalties will be split between the primary authors/editors of the volume, and you will be equally responsible for the delivery of the book.

Louise Baird-Smith
Commissioning Editor – Design and Photography
Bloomsbury Visual Arts

“Ask the Editor” is a Design Incubation series, where design academics, researchers, and practitioners pose their questions to editors of books, journals, conferences and other academic and design trade publishing organizations. If you would like your questions answered by publishing professionals, send your questions to Design Incubation via the “Ask the Editor” form on our website.

Call for Entries: Communication Design Educators Awards 2018

Accepting entries for the Communication Design Educators Awards 2018. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2018.

Design Incubation is delighted to announce we are now accepting entries for the Communication Design Educators Awards 2018. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2018.

The distinguished jurors for 2018 are the following:

Jorge Meza Aguilar
Professor of Strategic Design
Provost for Outreach and Collaboration
Universidad Iberoamericana
Mexico City, Mexico

Ruki Ravikumar
Director of Education
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum 
New York, NY

Wendy Siuyi Wong
Professor
Graduate Program Director
Department of Design
York University
Toronto, Canada

Steven McCarthy
Professor of Graphic Design
University of Minnesota

Maria Rogal
Professor of Graphic Design
University of Florida

Categories

  • Scholarship: Published Research
  • Scholarship: Creative Work (design research, creative production, and/or professional practice)
  • Teaching
  • Service  (departmental, institutional, community)

For eligibility and criteria, go to the Competition Overview page.

For application process, go to the Awards Application Process page.

The awards will be announced the first week of September 2018.

Communication Design Educators Awards 2018: Design Incubation

2018 Design Incubation Educators Awards competition in 4 categories— Creative Work, Published Research, Teaching, Service.

Call for Entries: Deadline, May 31, 2018

Recognition of excellence through peer review in scholarship, teaching, and service is fundamental to the professional development of communication design academics. To support this need, Design Incubation established the Communication Design Educators Awards in 2016.

An independent jury of esteemed design educators is invited by the Awards Jury Chair. This year’s jury chair, Maria Rogal, invited these internationally recognized jurors: Jorge Meza Aguilar, Ruki Ravikumar, Wendy Siuyi Wong, and Steven McCarthy. Rogal writes, “this jury reflects the diverse perspectives and experiences that exist in communication design today.”

The awards acknowledge faculty accomplishments in the areas of published research, creative work, teaching, and service. The award processes and procedures are rigorous, transparent, and objective. They reflect Design Incubation’s mission to foster professional development and discourse within the design community.

This year, award entries are open February 1, 2018 – May 31, 2018 via the online application. An overview of the awards program is on our website.

We are excited to announce Bloomsbury Publishing is sponsoring this year’s awards.

The 2018 Jury

Steven McCarthy is Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He conceived of the Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards and chaired the jury in both 2016 and 2017. McCarthy’s teaching, scholarship, and contributions to the discipline include lectures, exhibitions, publications, and grant-funded research on a global scale. His creative work was featured in 125+ exhibitions and he is the author of The Designer As… Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating (BIS, Amsterdam). From 2014–2017, McCarthy served on the board of directors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Jorge Meza Aguilar is Professor of Strategic Design and Provost for Outreach and Collaboration at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where he founded the Bachelor in Interactive Design and the Master in Strategic Design and Innovation programs. He is widely recognized as an expert in strategic design and is the founding Director of Estrategas Digitales which focuses on research, strategic design, branding, trend forecasting, branding, Internet, and digital media. Meza is also a consultant and entreprenuer and holds degrees in art, graphic design, and systems engineering. Previously, he studied in and worked as a designer in Poland at Advertising Agency Schulz.

Ruki Ravikumar is Director of Education at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, a position she has held since April 2017. She joined the museum following thirteen years of service at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she held successive positions as professor of graphic design; director of graduate programs; chair of the Department of Design; assistant dean; and most recently, as associate dean of the College of Fine Arts & Design. In addition to her practice as an educator and published researcher in the areas of intersections between graphic design and culture and their impact on design education, she is also an award winning graphic designer. Further, she has served in leadership roles at the local and national levels of AIGA, the professional association for design.

Maria Rogal, Jury Chair, is Professor of Graphic Design, School of Art + Art History at the University of Florida and was Interim Director from 2015–2017. She is the founder of Design for Development (D4D), an award-winning initiative to co-design with indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to generate sustainable and responsible local outcomes. She has lectured and published about D4D, recently co-authoring “CoDesigning for Development,” which appears in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Her research has been funded by AIGA, Sappi, and Fulbright programs, among others, and her creative design work has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions.

Wendy Siuyi Wong is Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Design at the York University, Toronto, Canada. She has established an international reputation as an expert in Chinese graphic design history and Chinese comic art history. She is the author of Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2002). She is a contributor to the Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design (2012), The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design (2015), and acts as a regional editor of the Greater China region for the Encyclopedia of East Asian Design to be published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Also, Dr. Wong has served as an editorial board member of Journal of Design History.

How important is it that an author has written a book before?

Question: How important is it that an author has written a book before? Does that improve their chances of you taking on their project and giving them a contract? –MR

Answer: While there is an element of reassurance if an author has already published a book before, everyone has to start somewhere and there will always need to be a ‘first book’ at some point. 

Some big textbook lists/publishers may not sign unpublished authors as the bigger textbook projects have a higher risk factor than an academic monograph might do, but this isn’t the same across the board. 

I’ve worked on subjects where academic scholarship was relatively new, so the pool of previously published authors was very small – getting new voices into the mix was really important to build up the high quality literature in the area.

Equally, if someone has written many books before, it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be offered a contract for their next book. 

Whether you have tons of experience as an author, or are brand new, the combination of the project itself and your experience in the area (as a researcher, practitioner or teacher, depending on the type of book) along with the feedback from the peer reviews is a more realistic predictor of whether a project would be approved.  If in doubt, just drop the editor/publisher an email and see if it’s worth submitting a proposal.

Louise Baird-Smith
Commissioning Editor – Design and Photography
Bloomsbury Visual Arts

“Ask the Editor” is a Design Incubation series, where design academics, researchers, and practitioners pose their questions to editors of books, journals, conferences and other academic and design trade publishing organizations. If you would like your questions answered by publishing professionals, send your questions to Design Incubation via the “Ask the Editor” form on our website.

Insectile Indices, Los Angeles 2027

Yeawon Kim
Graduate student
Media Design Practices
Art Center College of Design

Yeawon Kim
Graduate student
Media Design Practices
Art Center College of Design

Crime prediction technology – we have all seen it in the movies, but what has in the past been pure fiction is now quickly becoming a reality.  Predpol, HunchLab and ComStat are different types of relatively new crime prediction software, or “predicative policing” software, that demonstrate how algorithms and other technologies can be used within urban infrastructures to predict crime.  However, utilizing these technologies and algorithms to collect data to predict crime, which is invariably subject to and tainted by human perception and use, can lead to a number of adverse ethical consequences – such as the amplification of existing biases against certain types of individuals based on race, gender or otherwise. On the other hand, if data can be gathered by some artificial intelligence (AI) means – thereby removing the human component from such data collection, can doing so result in more efficient and accurate crime prediction?  Furthermore, will we in doing so also reshape the aesthetic of urban landscapes, especially when one takes into account the constant evolution of AI?

Insectile Indices is therefore a speculative design project that considers how electronically augmented insects could be trained to act as sophisticated data sensors, working in groups, as part of a neighborhood crime predicative policing initiative in the city of Los Angeles, 2027.  This project is not only an investigation into the ethics of this controversial idea, but an aesthetic exploration into the deliberate alteration to a natural wildlife ecosystem of insects and the potential reshaping of an urban landscape.

In 2007, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) asked American scientists to submit proposals to develop technology to create insect-cyborgs, the results of which led to a plethora of troubling and worrisome commentary.  Rather than build off of a frightening narrative that discusses the potential sinister militaristic use of such technology, this project does the opposite and imagines instead an aesthetically pleasing utopia where these insect-cyborgs have social utility and work towards the public good of humanity.  Insectile indices also plays with the idea of aesthetics in our future techno-driven world by addressing whether we are more apt to silently “turn the other cheek” to more pervasive surveillance if these insect-cyborgs, or the urban landscapes they have the potential to reshape, become more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

In this session, I plan to share the process of researching and creating the visual representation of this speculative fiction.

Research for Designers

Meredith James
Assistant Professor
Graphic Design

Portland State University

There are a number of textbooks on the market for research strategies used by designers, from A Designer’s Research Manual by O’Grady and O’Grady, to Visual Research by Bestley and Noble, to Design Research by Laurel and Lunenfeld. These texts offer a range of approaches, from marketing strategies used by designers, to more academic case studies. However, what is missing from the marketplace is a simple “how-to” guide that introduces basic primary and secondary research techniques to students.

This presentation will provide a literature review of tactics every designer and educator should know, and then present a practical research guide created for designers that fills the gap in existing literature. This pocket guide is being used in design classes at both foundational and advanced levels. Our students work has advanced to be more culturally and critically aware due to the implementation of these techniques. 

Typographic Landscape Ecologies

Joshua Singer
Associate Professor
San Francisco State University

Typographic Landscape Ecologies is an ongoing design research project that documents, maps, and visualizes typographic artifacts in the urban landscape as a way to explore cultural forces in the constructed world. The project presuppose a model of a semiotic landscape; a complex multi‐dimensional text or collection of texts in geographic space; the landscape as a collection of symbolically mediated phenomena understood only through representation. The typographic elements of the urban landscape form, through their invisible connections to the greater world of meaning, an ecology of meaning that constructs geographic space as real as its material forms.

Typographic Landscape Ecologies uses conventional research as a means to authoritatively document the landscape in an attempt to reveal patterns and relationships. The project uses experimental methods as a foil to the authority of conventional research as a way to generate speculative conclusions. Imprecise and questionable associations generate new semantic connections and new forms of thinking and knowledge. The illumination of new knowledge is the ultimate goal of research giving subjective and illegitimate conclusions value by revealing something not yet known. The work of the radical architecture groups Superstudio and Archigram, the design fictions of Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, the iconoclastic maps of Denis Woods, and the imaginary science of ‘Pataphysics offer examples of the ability of working data into new syntaxes, into alternative and speculative narratives, that can offer glimpses of other potentialities. In Typographic Landscape Ecologies this is demonstrated by the visual cross-referencing of aesthetic ecologies and cultural vectors, their overlay onto three dimensional virtual environments comprised of layers of historical maps that encourage us to read between the lines or layers of a cultural-semiotic space. This does not offer concrete answers, but rather poses new and unexpected questions.