Design and Culture: Peer-Review Journals From the Inside Out

Elizabeth Guffey
Professor of Art & Design History
State University of New York at Purchase
Editor, Design & Culture

Rarely do we get a chance to see from the inside what the editorial process of peer review journals looks like. We will provide an unusual chance to see what the editorial process looks like, from the editors’ point of view, beginning with initial review of submissions through the peer review process and to final publication. We will also discuss some of the realities of publishing—including the timely pressures on editors to produce well-balanced journal issues with a variety of high-quality articles.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 2.3: St. John’s University on Saturday, January 16, 2016.

Design Incubation Colloquium 2.3: St. John’s University

Saturday, January 16, 2016
2:00pm – 4:30pm
St. John’s University Manhattan Campus
101 Astor PL, New York
(Local subways: 6 at Astor Place; N,R at 8th Street)

To attend: Include name, email contact, and affiliation. All are welcome.


Design and Culture: Peer-Review Journals from the Inside Out
Elizabeth Guffey
Professor of Art & Design History
State University of New York at Purchase
Editor, Design & Culture

Self-Publishing in Higher Education: Meaning and Approach
James Pannafino
Associate Professor
Interactive and Graphic Design
Millersville University, Pennsylvania

Envisioning South Africa’s Global Struggle Against Apartheid
Steffi Duarte
Curatorial Research Assistant
Product Design & Decorative Arts Department
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Decorative Art & Design Department
Cleveland Museum of Art

The Fine Art of Persuasion: Corporate Advertising Design, Nation, and Empire in Modern Japan
Gennifer Weisenfeld
Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Duke University

Big Data in Interactive Web Design
Vinoad Senguttuvan
Senior Data Scientist

  • Jen Roos, Mercy College, NY
  • Gigi Polo, Parsons
  • Dimitry Tetin, SUNY New Paltz
  • Aaron Ganci, Indiana University–Purdue
  • Meaghan Barry, Oakland University, MI
  • Anna Pinkas, BMCC
  • Janet Esquirol, BMCC
  • Liz DeLuna, St. John’s
  • Kathryn Weinstein, Queen’s College
  • Grace Moon, Queen’s College
  • Matt Ferranto, Westchester Community College
  • Kathryn Simon, Parsons
  • Lynne Foster, Pratt Institute
  • Jon Santos, Common Space Studio
  • Amye McCarther, U Texas Austin
  • Hui Xie, St. John’s
  • Scott Fowler, Chelsea High School
  • Bonnie Blake, Ramapo College
  • Dan Wong, CityTech
  • Aaris Sherin, St. John’s

Design Incubation Fellowship: January 14–16, 2016

The 2016 Design Incubation Fellowship was held January 14–16, 2016 at St. John’s University’s Manhattan campus. This year’s participants may choose to pursue one of two modes for engaging with original research projects.

2016 Design Incubation Fellows:

  • Jen Roos, Mercy College, NY
  • Gigi Polo, Parsons The New School for Design, NY
  • Gennifer Weisenfeld, Duke University, NC
  • Steffi Duarte, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, NY
  • Dimitry Tetin, State University of New York, New Paltz
  • Aaron Ganci, Indiana University–Purdue University, IN
  • Meaghan Barry, Oakland University, MI
  • Anna Pinkas, Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY
  • Janet Esquirol, Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY


Day 1: Thursday, January 14th


Dan Wong
Co-founder, Co-chair Design Incubation


Book Proposals
Georgia Kennedy
Managing Editor Fairchild Books,
a division of Bloomsbury Publishing (UK)


Writing for Journals: Workshop Session
Maggie Taft
Managing Editor, Design and Culture

Day 2: Friday January 15th


Break Out Session / Working Groups

1:00pm –5:00pm

Writing Process and Feedback
Andrew Shea
Author of Design for Social Change
Principal of design studio, MANY

Structuring Scholarship
Aaris Sherin
Director of Fellowships at Design Incubation

Day 3: Saturday January 16th


Presentation of Participant Work/Progress
Feedback; Wrap-up


Design Incubation Colloquium 2.3
(open to the public)

Design Criticism in Search of a Platform

Dr. Gaia Scagnetti
Assistant Professor
Graduate Communication Design
Pratt Institute

By definition criticism presents negative connotations. In philosophical terms, criticism is not an action but a method of systematic analysis of a written, oral and visual discourse. It involves merit recognition and it means a methodical practice of doubt. Design criticism has had a short life story and never reached the popularity of Architecture or Art criticism, Film or Literary criticism. Probing design work is perceived as a threat, especially in a time when liking is the expected way of supporting peers both within and outside of social networks. To like and express appreciation for the work of others is a consolidated strategy to get noticed and welcomed in a community of practice, especially among the young generation.

Support is rarely shown through critical encouragement and is mostly communicated through unconditional recommendations; endorsement is seen as a currency to be exchanged regardless of the intrinsic value of a certain production. The problem gets exacerbated by the platforms we use to contribute to disciplinary conversations: symposia, conferences, talks are now always recorded and publicly streamed. This public exposure does not support attempts to make critical analyses; streaming is an opportunity for advertising others or yourself, your connections and your relevancy. Public speeches are opportunities to create connections the so called shoutout to other projects, friends or celebrities. In a time where positivity is the currency nobody wants to practice doubt.

We can consider the process of criticism to be equivalent to making strategic decisions it is a part of how we govern ourselves. Strategies are rarely discussed out in the public, but within a dedicated environment where the social rules of conduct are made explicit and intentions are shared. Similarly, design criticism should be fostered and cultivated within purposebuilt platforms. Design criticism needs a home more than ever. Analysing, considering or dissecting design discourse is a contribution to the politics of truth and criticism is the art of not being governed quite so much.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 2.1: Pratt Institute, Graduate Communications Design on Saturday, October 24, 2015.

Fellowship 2016

The 2016 Design Incubation Fellowship will be held January 14–16, 2016 at St. John’s University’s Manhattan campus. This year’s participants may choose to pursue one of two modes for engaging with original research projects.

In the first scenario participants bring a manuscript, draft of an article, or a grant application to the fellowship and receive feedback from workshop mentors and other attendees.

The second option allows participants who may not have a project in progress to take part in the fellowship and benefit from the experience of the workshop mentors and the group. These applicants will choose to work on an exhibition or book review or statement of practice with the goal of publishing finished work in an academic or trade journal.

Design Incubation Fellowships are open to academics in one or more of the following areas: communication design, information design, branding, marketing, advertising, typography, web, interaction, film and video, animation, illustration, game design.


Workshops offer the opportunity for participants to share and develop ideas for research and individual writing projects while receiving constructive feedback from faculty mentors and peers in their field. Each meeting includes a short informational session or guest speaker followed by presentations of participants’ projects and structured feedback. Between sessions, Fellows will have time to execute revisions, review others participants work, and engage in discussions. Initiation of and work on collaborative projects is encouraged.

Application Process: Deadline October 15, 2015

Design Incubation is currently seeking applicants for the January 2016 workshop session. Workshops are free to participants whose applications have been accepted. Travel costs are not covered but a formal letter of acceptance will be provided so attendees can apply for travel funds from their home institutions.

The upcoming 2016 Design Incubation Fellowship Workshop will be held on January 14–16, 2016  at the Manhattan campus of St. John’s University, 51 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003

Applicants are required to provide contact information, title/current rank, name of their home institution and a 200-word biography. Candidates who will be working on projects already in progress should submit a 500-word description of the work including goals for publication/submission. Applicants interested in working on a review or statement of practice should indicate preference for one or the other. Once applicants are accepted, a workshop mentor will reach out regarding the choice of titles or exhibitions for review and with more information about statements of practice.

Send applications to

Preference will be given to tenured and untenured full-time faculty currently employed by colleges or universities but adjuncts, graduate students, and independent scholars are also encouraged to apply.

Publishing Confidential

Aaris Sherin
Associate Professor of Graphic Design
St. John’s University

The author of a number of books and articles, Sherin dives into the mysterious world of design research and publishing. She will give examples of what works and what doesn’t, while highlighting ways of making the writing process productive and enjoyable.

List of Selected Books by Aaris Sherin:

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 1.5: Rhode Island School of Design on Saturday, March 7, 2015.

Colloquium 1.5: Call for Submissions

Deadline: March 1, 2015

The  2015 Spring Colloquium will be held at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. We invite all Communication Design researchers to submit abstracts for consideration by our panel of peers.

For more details, see the Submission Process description.
Event Date: Saturday, March 7, 2015

RISD Design Center, 20 N. Main Street, Room 212.
Providence, RI 02903

11:00-1:00pm Presentation
1:00-2:00pm Break for Lunch
2:00-3:30 Discussion: Design Research and Publishing

Please RSVP if you plan on attending. Space is limited.

Design Incubation Colloquium 1.4: St. John’s University Manhattan Campus

Design Incubation Colloquium 1.4: St John’s University

Hosted by Aaris Sherin
Thursday, February 12, 2015
(Mixer to follow colloquium)

Manhattan campus of St. John’s University
Room 214
51 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003

Save the Date!

Please RSVP if you plan on attending. Submissions are closed for this event. Head to BBar (40 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003) following Colloquium to schmooze (space permitting.)


Peter Fine
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
University of Wyoming

What’s ‘American’ about American Industrial Design?
Carma Gorman
Associate Professor of Design History
The University of Texas Austin

Not Dead But Sleepeth: A Study of Gravestone Lettering
Doug Clouse
Co-Founder and Principal of The Graphics Office
Adjunct Professor at Purchase College and the Fashion Institute of Technology

Stephen Eskilson
Professor of Art History
Eastern Illinois University

  • Elizabeth Guffey
  • Stuart Kendall
  • Andrew DeRosa
  • Aaron Fine
  • Joel Mason
  • Liz DeLuna
  • Janet Esquirol
  • Kathryn Weinstein
  • Kristin Derimanova
  • Susan Spivack
  • Grace Moon
  • Eli Neugeboren
  • Andrew Shea
  • C.J. Yeh
  • Anita Giraldo
  • Dan Wong
  • M. Genevieve Hitchings
  • Aaris Sherin

Using Historical Archives to Explore Cultural Representation in Design & Mass Media

Ryan Hartley Smith
Assistant Professor, Graphic Design
Art Department, Queens College, CUNY

Communication designers today have unprecedented access to visual reference material from around the globe. This is largely thanks to the recent advent of online creative resources and archives. Whether a designer uses this material as formal inspiration, or directly incorporates imagery into a project, their appropriation can raise a multitude of ethical, cultural, and historical questions to consider.

Over the past four semesters, students in my Color and Design courses have explored these questions by using material in our college’s extensive Civil Rights Archives to generate socially minded projects, and to discuss cultural representation, authorship, and re-appropriation.

This presentation describes the outcome of our most recent project, which adapted the Civil Rights-era format of a “Mass Meeting” to examine the legacies of the 1964 Freedom Summer.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 1.2: New York City College of Technology on Friday, October 31, 2014.

Design Incubation Fellowship Program

January 12, 15, 19, 2015
St. John’s University
Manhattan Campus
101 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003

This is Design Incubation’s inaugural Fellowship Program. To find out more information and to apply, please visit the Fellowship Program section, review the format of the workshops, and the fellowship application process.