Call for submissions


Submission Guidelines

Issue Call

The Values Had, The Object Made, The Values Had | Practice – Making – Praxis

As the 21st Century moves into its third decade, technological and societal changes re-propose the act of making, the actualization of design agency and desire, in wholly different contexts. Digital craft legitimized both physically and a-physically as work “practiced to achieve consistent outcomes,” (Diderot, 1969), redefines the movement from desire to reality as continuous, defuse in character, and decentralized in assignation of value. In this space, the designer is simultaneously more and less agent than ever before: he or she is able to capably make, craft, or manufacture without extravagant privileges of capitalization, but also positioned in questionable relevance as his or her extravagant privileges of taste and access are jeopardized by consumer model 3D printers and free digital modelling software (“Model 1 3D Printer” 2018). The “continuous, visual [production] of singular form,” (McCullough, 1998), a competency once central to design’s relationship with the physical, is borrowed by other disciplines, while new competencies essentialize themselves to surpass design’s self-evident shortcomings in achieving its own goals (Fuad-Luke 2017). Outside instrumental teleology, the margin of added value the designer could provide in aesthetic sophistication (Earls 2013), is tested as internet connectivity drives the designer imperatively to project that sophistication into the sum total of human knowledge and sign systems.

As well, the liquidity of this archive of signs, an internet archive of things-about-to-be and things which will only ephemerally be, defines new schema of what it means to make at all (Elkin 2017). Virtual experience, primarily visual, grows so wholly engrossing as to confuse primary experience of environments and objects as secondary experience, creating feelings of Deja vu upon encounter with an actual object for the first time (Manaugh 2015). The limits of this boundary, between desires that acquire actualization, and desires actualized through the screen or the headset, ask profound questions about the value of bodily experience of design, and the opportunities of desire never-quite-actualized, at least in normative physical media. Just as James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson defined practices of object making seeking phenomenological effect, these realms of virtual experience provide frontiers for defining the relationship between the thing that is made, and the experience it makes. What defines a thing as being made or not yet made when the experience of it may not require bodily proximity or a body at all?

Within and without technological advancements, publication about design making imposes real demands upon design praxis, in both disciplinary and distinctly professional contexts. The adjoining or hyphenation of the two words implies a distinction from centrist models of design practice where making, or the immediacy of making in the design studio, is secondary or absent. Theorization of the recent popularity of maker spaces, maker labs, and fabrication libraries interweaves the technological advancement above and the increasing primacy of design making into the same moment (Hirschberg 2016). But is this a discovery, a rediscovery, or a merely a centralization? More critically, what are the starting biases initiating, and what is the value delivered on the other side of, the movement from design it so others can make to design it through making? In both cases many of value structures are either indelible or internal. They become more complex as the societal changes around making further expand its context, revealing to new audiences design by older makers, many of whom express bemused suspicion of the maker movement. The question of how designers frame this kind of messy, externality-filled practice, especially in a popular context that imperils traditional practice, remains (Celento 2010).

Naturally the designer-educator-makers among us face these same questions at the behest of our students. Young designers, increasingly under pressure to contribute in societies that neither understand nor value their work (Bazalgette 2014), wonder why their tutors insist upon the expensive, time consuming, space filling act of moving an object from desire to actualization. Their competencies and lack thereof, their limitations in space and tooling, describe the microcosmic anxieties that underpin the entire discipline. Designers are not usually fabricators yet are arguably better designers if they know something about fabrication. In the process of learning they become something between the two and other from both, articulating instrumental and aesthetic value sets that are, perhaps, a definition of3what design-makers can uniquely contribute. But theirs, and ours, is a difficult path to justify. Making, especially while learning, is inherently wasteful, beset with mistakes and setbacks, and, worst of all, often only evidentially justifiable after the work is done. This charges educators with establishing the fortitude in their students to solicit others, and themselves, to wait until the work is realized, to whatever level of formality and physicality. What forms the foundation of this fortitude? How do a design-makers continue, and what do they, and the society around them, gain through their work?

The Call for Papers for the third issue of Cubic Journal seeks diverse contributions from a wide range of design sectors including: Spatial Design, Product Design, Graphic Design, Ceramic, Fibre, Metal, Sculptural, and Photographic Art and Design, Advertising Design, Digital and Interactive Design, Archival and Curatorial Practices, and many other sectors that encompass Fabrication, Manufacturing, Industry, Craft, Engineering, Shop and Plant Application, Theories of Labour, Structures of Design Practice, Design Pedagogy, and Disciplinary and Professional Policy. The Design Making call encourages contributions that reposition design and design research to highlight the Design through Making construct and community as a significant design outcome from the processes employed.

Two forms of contribution are possible: [a] Made, built, and experimental fabrication design work, and process driven exemplifications of emergent Design Making practices, submitted in pictorials and video and, [b] academically positioned papers up to 5000 words that exemplify research-based explorations into Design Making. All contributions will be double blind peer reviewed.

Authors are to follow submission criteria for each contribution type as described on the website. Final submissions must be made by January 1, 2019 at 12 noon, Hong Kong Time to and

Issue Editors

Daniel Elkin

James Stevens

Clifford Choy

Submission requirements

Cubic Journal Submission Guidelines
Cubic Journal accepts pictorial, video and written manuscript submissions as contributions to each issue. Authors should follow the specific submission requirements for each format.

[1] Pictorials.
Pictorials contributions are essays in which the visual components remain the primary medium of discussion and argument. Each pictorial submission should be highly visual in nature and consist out of, amongst others; annotated images, graphics, illustrations, diagrams, design sketches, collages or field notes.

[2] Video Material
Video contributions are essays in which the Cinematic components remain the primary medium of discussion and argument. Cubic places a limit to the length and file size of each submission at 7 minutes or 1 gigabyte in file size. Video submission should be highly visual in nature and are meant to reflect original and unpublished work, produced exclusively for the contributing issue. All video submissions should consist of at least 60% new work if previously published, as per international standards.

[3] Written Manuscripts
Written manuscripts should range between 3500 – 5000 words in length. Indicated word lengths are inclusive of endnotes. Each submission has to follow British English spelling and be accompanied by 5 keywords and a 150-word abstract.

[4] Style Guidelines
All written components have to follow the guidelines as stated in the full submission guidelines. Authors are to pay attention to [a] Titles and Headings, [b] Endnotes, references and bibliography, [c] Author-Date citations style, [d] Chicago Manual Style Citation Guide [16th edition -] and [e] figure, illustration and video submission guidelines.

[5] Submission, Permissions and Copyright.
[a] All submissions are to be made to Email will be the communications of choice for all forms of correspondence.
[b] Author[s] submitting manuscripts confirms originality and adheres to CUBIC JOURNAL’S anti-plagiarism policy.
[c] By submitting work, each author confirm that the work is not under review by other journals or publishers.
[d] Authors carry the responsibility of obtaining copyrights and reproduction permissions. For citations exceeding 400 words, or, several citations which amounts to more than 800 words, the author[s] are deemed to have obtained copyright permission. In the case of illustrations, the source and permission should be acknowledged in the captions.
[e] Cubic Journal is an independent and non-profit peer review journal operating under the Hong Kong registered Cubic Journal Society, adhering to research and ethics standards of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. All conflicts of interest have to be declared in advance to the editorial board at the time of submission.
[f] Cubic Journal declares to disseminates all work via its online open access platform for scholarly pursuit. Although authors retain copyright they grant Cubic Journal the authority to distribute the material according to its discretion and in whatever forms they see fit.
[g] Cubic Journal, the Cubic Journal Editorial and Cubic Journal Advisory Boards are not liable for any faulty information as supplied by the authors and writers.
[h] Cubic Journal, the Cubic Journal Editorial and Advisory Board’s decisions are final and non-negotiable.

Please refer to full submission guides pdf.