Design Educators Community

The Call for Submissions for Dialectic’s second issue is now open, and will be until 12.30.16

October 18, 2016 / Michael R. Gibson

You are invited to submit an article or visual narrative for potential inclusion in the SECOND issue of Dialectic, a biannual journal devoted to the critical examination of issues that affect design education, research, and inquiry into their effects on the practice of design. Michigan Publishing, the hub of scholarly publishing at the University of Michigan, is publishing Dialectic on behalf of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Design Educators Community (DEC). The second issue/“Issue 02” will be published between June 1 and June 30, 2017; Dialectic’s first issue, which has already selected its papers, reviews and visual narratives for publication, will be published between November 15 and December 31, 2016.

Dialectic’s second issue invites papers and visual narratives that examine how research by, for and through design education in planned, operated, assessed and learned from.

The second issue of Dialectic seeks the following types of submissions, which are described in more detail below:

· original visual essays/visually based narratives/visual storytelling
· research papers
· long-form case study reports/case series reports
· position papers
· criticism of designed artifacts, systems, and processes
· reviews of books, exhibitions, and conferences
· survey papers
· theoretical speculations

Each piece that Dialectic will publish must be:

· based on fundamentally sound scholarship and inquiry
· written so that is broadly accessible
· on topics relevant to its audiences

Dialectic’s web address for submissions:

All submissions to Dialectic MUST be made through the submittable website hosted by Michigan Publishing listed above. Please DO NOT attempt to send any type of submission as an e-mail attachment to any of Dialectic’s Editorial Board members, its Producer, its AIGA DEC liaisons, or members of its Advisory Committee. Instructions for formatting ALL types of submissions are embedded (per category) in this submittable website. Submissions that are NOT formatted according to these instructions will be rejected. All submissions must be created in keeping with the editorial policy of Dialectic.

Questions to shape submissions for Dialectic Issue 02

The second issue of Dialectic seeks papers and visual essays/narratives that will enlighten and inform a diverse audience of design educators and practitioners in response to any of the following questions:

How can different approaches to framing research, and/or different methods of engaging in research, be made more intelligible and understandable to designers who have little or no experience with research (both in the academy and in the profession)?

How should contemporary design education “fit” into current university and academy structures/models/ideals? What territories should it carve out for itself, and what territories should it strive to co-occupy?

How can the evolving nature of design practice be made more intelligible by examining and probing it “through design research lenses” in ways that can benefit emerging designers/design students?

What do design educators need to understand and know to teach effectively NOW, and to continue to teach effectively as the next decade evolves? What does the ambit of design education need to include today?

How and why can research by, for and through design inform the positioning and operation of design as social agency?

How and why can research by, for and through design inform the positioning and operation of design as cultural production?

How and why is research that could or is affecting design education being taught and practiced inside AND outside North America?

What isn’t being taught or practiced by, for and through research in design education that should be?

What should research that informs/guides design processes look like at the project, course, curricular and programmatic level look like (and what should it not look like)?

How should the language of research be translated between the academy and the profession, and between design and other disciplines, to positively affect translation and negotiation?

Where do the domains of knowledge and skill sets necessary to engage in research by, for, and through design education overlap with those derived from other disciplines and approaches to education?

Dialectic will publish visual essays/narratives and papers that satisfy the following categorial descriptions:

Original visual essays/visually based narratives/visual storytelling: Dialectic invites submissions from designers or teams of designers that are comprised primarily or solely of imagery (photography and/or illustrations), typographic structures, “type-as-image,” or some combination of these that visually communicate one or more types of narrative/storytelling. The logistical criteria specified in the “Illustrations, Graphics, and Photos” section of the “2016-17 Submissions Guidelines for Dialectic” document must be met (re: image resolutions, physical sizes, bleeds, etc.), and submissions that are assessed by the Editorial Board and/or external reviewers to be visually compelling and conceptually provocative will be considered for publication, pending the availability of page space in a given issue.

Research papers (3,000 to 4,500 words): These articles will recount how designers and design teams identified a situation that was problematic, formulated and operated research to understand the various factors, conditions and people involved that were affecting the situation, and then used their analysis of the data gathered from this research to guide design decision-making toward improving this situation. This type of writing should be grounded in evidentiary processes, and should clearly explicate a hypothesis, as well as posit and support a methodology and some form of a measurable data set.

Long-form case study reports or case series reports (3,000 to 4,500 words): These articles will describe how a particular person, group, project, event, experience or situation has been studied and analyzed, using one or more methods, during a specific span of time. These contributions should posit insights that exist as logical subsets of a larger category, and that are at least tangentially generalizable to the category. A case series report collectively describes how a group of individuals have responded to a particular type of treatment, experience or interaction. They can be used to help analyze and assess the responses of a cross-section of individual users to one or more iterations of an interface design, or an environmental graphics or wayfinding system, or a series of data visualizations.

Position papers (2,000 to 3,000 words): These essays will present the readership of Dialectic with an opinion—of the author, or of a specified group of people or organization—about an issue or set of issues in a way or ways that make particular values and the belief systems that guide them known.

Design criticism (as long-form essays of between 2,000 and 3,000 words): The goal of these pieces is to critically analyze design decision-making, and the affects that making and using what has been designed have on the operation and evolution of social, technological, economic, environmental and political systems.

Reviews of books, exhibitions, conferences, etc. (750 to 1,500 words): These shorter articles are written to critically analyze the efficacy of the structure, content, style, and relative merit of their particular subjects in ways that combine the author’s personal reactions and arguments to it with his/her assessment of how effectively it fulfilled or failed in its purpose.

Survey papers (2,000 to 3,000 words): These pieces are written to clearly summarize, organize, and analyze a select, topical grouping of scholarly articles, research papers, or case studies in a way that integrates and adds to the understanding of the work in a given discipline or field of study.

Theoretical speculations (3,000 to 4,500 words): These contributions will consist of attempts by their authors to explain a particular phenomenon, set of circumstances, or situational construct based on their ability to utilize observations rather than hard evidence to fuel speculative thoughts and suppositions. These contributions should be grounded in a viable paradigm, or use theory as a viable justification for what has been observed, and should be internally coherent and advance logical conclusions.

Editorial responses from Dialectic readers (750 to 1,200 words): Dialectic encourages its readers to submit critical responses to specific articles, editorials, or visual pieces that have been published in previous issues. Authors are also welcome to bring any issues that they believe are pertinent to the attention of Dialectic’s readership. Editorial commentary relative to specific published articles and pieces will be sent to their author(s) so they can respond.

Important dates:

Deadline for full versions of papers written that meet Dialectic Issue 02’s categorical descriptions and “research by, for and through design education” theme: 5:00 pm CST, December 30, 2016

Initial/Desk reviews of submissions to Dialectic Issue 02 complete: February 10, 2017

External reviews of submission to Dialectic Issue 02 complete: March 31, 2017

Authors responses/revisions to external reviewers’ suggestions re: their manuscripts due: May 5, 2017

Dialectic Issue 02 published: June 15–July 31, 2017

Dialectic’s inaugural editorial board:
Anne Burdick, Art Center
Heather Corcoran, Washington University at St. Louis
Kenneth FitzGerald, Old Dominion University
Deborah Littlejohn, North Carolina State University
Keith M. Owens, The University of North Texas
Stacie Rohrbach, Carnegie Mellon University

Dialectic’s producer:
Michael R. Gibson, The University of North Texas

Dialectic’s inaugural AIGA Design Educators Community liaisons:
Eric Benson, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Amy Fidler, Bowling Green State University
Michael R. Gibson, The University of North Texas

Dialectic’s inaugural advisory committee:
Kim Erwin, The Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design
Brockett Horne, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
Ann McDonald, Northeastern University
Paul Nini, The Ohio State University
Elizabeth Resnick, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt)
Holly Willis, The University of Southern California

AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.