Title_Open Issues   Type_Conference    Scale_N/A    Time_2 Days   Location_Cambridge, MA   Date_2017   

In April 2017, Open Letters, a student-run publication at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), hosted “Open Issues," a day of conversation about the possibilities and consequences of student publishing in design schools. 51 editors representing 28 different publications met to discuss how they have conceived, produced, and sustained publications as students and as emerging professionals. The event began in Frances Loeb Library around a display of recent issues of more than 35 student-edited publications, including projects from nine U.S. states, the U.K., Germany, Chile, Portugal, and Hong Kong. The display brought together a collection of journals, pamphlets, websites, and books, many of which are rarely distributed outside of the institutions for which they are produced.

In addition to the collection of current student publications, Loeb Library Special Collections archivist Ines Zalduendo (MArch ‘95) introduced a selection of historic GSD student publications, including the seminal TASK journal founded in 1942 and The Harvard Architecture Review , the student-edited predecessor to Harvard Design Magazine . Editors participated in a wide-ranging roundtable discussion moderated by Bryan Norwood (PhD '18) and Chelsea Spencer (MDes '14), Managing Editor of Log Journal and co-founding editor of Open Letters . The conversation explored the position of student publications with respect to design disciplines, schools, and the profession. Editors grappled with issues of institutional recognition and support as well as student agency and responsibility, and asked greater questions about how design practice can use media to reach beyond established disciplinary boundaries and bring new ideas into design discourse.