Dialectic

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


A call for submissions for possible publication in the SECOND issue of the AIGA DEC’s scholarly journal Dialectic

Colleagues:

You are invited to submit a paper or a visual narrative or essay or example of visual storytelling 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.

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.

Michigan Publishing, the hub of scholarly publishing at the University of Michigan, will publish Dialectic on behalf of the AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC). Dialectic’s second issue welcomes the following types of submissions:

  • 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:

  1. based on fundamentally sound scholarship and inquiry
  2. written so that it is broadly accessible
  3. on topics relevant to its audiences

All submissions must be created in keeping with the editorial policy of Dialectic.

To download one of our sample double-blind, external peer review forms, please click here.

Dialectic will publish papers that meet the following categorical 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 (between 3,000 and 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 (between 3,000 and 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 (between 2,000 and 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. (between 750 and 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 them with his/her assessment of how effectively they fulfilled or failed in their purposes.
  • Survey papers (between 2,000 and 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 (between 3,000 and 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.
  • Original visual essays and narratives; Dialectic invites submissions from designers or teams of designers that are comprised primarily or solely of imagery. The criteria specified in the “Illustrations, Graphics, and Photos” section of the “2016-17 Submissions Guidelines for Dialectic” document must be met, 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.
  • Editorial responses from Dialectic readers (between 750 and 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.

Each author’s/team of authors’ full manuscript (as a properly formatted MS Word document),or visual essay (submitted for initial review as a .pdf containing between 6 and 10 8.5" x 11" compositions),  should be uploaded to the Dialectic submission website at https://dialectic.submittable.com/submit by 11:59 pm CST on January, 20 2016.

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?

IMPORTANT DATES:

Deadline for full versions of papers written that meet Dialectic’s categorical descriptions for Issue 02: January 20, 2016

Initial/Desk reviews of submissions to Dialectic Issue 02 completed: March 3, 2017

External reviews of submission to Dialectic Issue 02 complete: April 21, 2017

Authors responses/revisions to external reviewers’ suggestions re: their manuscripts due: May 26, 2017

Internal Edits + Author’s responses to these complete: June 16, 2017

Estimated publication date for Dialectic Issue 02: July 3–July 28, 2017

 

Dialectic’s editorial board:

Keith M. Owens, The University of North Texas, Managing Editor

Anne Burdick, Art Center

Heather Corcoran, Washington University at St. Louis

Kenneth FitzGerald, Old Dominion University

Deborah Littlejohn, North Carolina State University

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


Dialectic’s graphic designer:

Laura Rossi Garcia