Studies in Material Thinking Special Issue on Research Outputs in Art and Design (Aug 2011)

Call for papers: Studies in Material Thinking Journal
Theme: Research Outputs in Art and Design
Abstract deadline: UPDATED 29th August, 2011
Contact: Dr. Alan Young:

This issue of Studies in Material Thinking is devoted to the critique, not only in writing but also through the forms themselves, of the notions of research in, and through art and graphic / communication design practice.  The discourses of art and design are vibrant and constantly shifting, negotiated terrains, where new technologies provide opportunities and avenues to explore and re-shape the boundaries of the discourses. We encourage non-traditional as well as traditional media forms that can be uploaded to a revamped web presence of the journal. As well as standard text and image documents, the new site will be able to present contributions through sound, moving image and interactive works.

Universities and colleges have moved into an era of mandatory research outputs, the ratings of which are used to justify continued research funding and time allocation. Whilst many departments have a long history of research outputs, Art and Design disciplines are working to identify research outputs appropriate for their fields. With staff’s professional practice and much postgraduate work involving construction of artifacts, the emphasis on written text research outputs often necessitates an additional layer of work to render them ‘legitimate’.


Studies in Material Thinking welcomes written papers and creative works which critique and challenge established conceptions of research in and through art and design.

Some possible areas for consideration:

• What are the current limitations on and opportunities for research in art and design discourse?
• What is meant by a ‘research context’ for art and design?
•  How are current art and design discourses re-shaping the boundaries of research?
• How is research re-shaping the boundaries of current art and design discourses?
• How do new technologies impact on art and design research?
• How can practice-led works be evaluated in a research context?
• What are the collaborative potentials across different forms of art and design research?
• How are art and design research outputs impacting upon commercial and applied fields that employ art and design knowledge?

Studies in Material Thinking Journal

This journal is a vehicle for artists, designers and writers to explore their projects and research positions from the vantage point of both the materiality and the poetics of creative research. Submissions are sought from those who are currently engaged in developing an understanding of research processes in art and design.

Review process

All submissions are double blind peer reviewed. A number of professional and academic designers are members of the review panel and will assist with reviews of non-traditional media forms.


Abstracts and proposals: up to 200 words to the Chief guest editor, Dr. Alan Young:
Proposals for non-written submissions should include still images, and/or a written description of the project with relevant information that will allow reviewers to assess the work.
Finished written papers: 2000 to 6000 words
Referencing system: APA
Non-written works: Contact for digital specifications of non-traditional media forms.


July: call for contributions
Aug 15: abstract proposals due
Sep 01: acknowledgement
Oct 18: submission of full papers / non-written media contributions
Nov 18: Peer review completed, alterations notified
Nov 30: Final date for submission of contributions
Dec: Journal published

Chief guest editor: Dr. Alan Young (AUT University, NZ)
Journal editor: Assoc. Professor Nancy de Freitas (AUT University, NZ)

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

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