New School for Social Research:
Design and the Future of Publishing
I developed of a cross-disciplinary course in Spring 2014 with graduate students in the New School for Social Research (NSSR) and students in BFA Communication Design entitled Design and the Future of Publishing. This course served as a model of how designers could work with non-designers in project-based classes rooted in theory and concept, benefiting both cohorts within the same course. In that cross-disciplinary structure, we spent the first half of the semester reading and discussing publishing as a whole. Students responded to both readings and to design on their individual blogs and completed small exercises to introduce the basics of typographic layout, print on demand, e-books, and publishing on the web. They then worked in mixed teams to realize projects that would respond to some of the binaries and dilemmas introduced in the first half of the semester, such as print vs. digital, paid content vs. free content, and open access vs. exclusivity.
Starting in 2015, I transformed this cross-disciplinary course into a required Fall course for students in the MA Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program, a program that I helped write and bring into being, and which was approved by the New York State in 2016. As the program grew, I recruited faculty to teach the Spring section. That section was discontinued in 2021–22.
The course is a challenge. The students come from non-design backgrounds and are often excited to learn software and make zines. I keep them focused on changes in publishing and design, as these are the things that I am most interested in, and concerned about.
You can see the course outline and projects here: