2023_2 | Craft Studios

Mutate + Multiply

Ben Juers


Studio Inquiry

What is ‘iterative design’, and how can it help to make publications that transform over time?


How much can a design transform before it becomes something new?


In this studio you will make multiple issues of a publication that mutates with each new instalment. Early in the semester you will develop a concept and loose visual identity (logo, masthead, cover template, etc) for your publication, then design and serialise several iterations of this publication at regular intervals over the semester. Each iteration will evolve your publication’s aesthetic through experiments that are at times dramatic, other times subtle, but above all continual.


You will conduct hands-on research into the history of periodicals, zines, art books, journals, leaflets, tabloids, chapbooks, newsletters and pamphlets. You will consult online and physical resources, document and present your findings regularly and incorporate them into your practice through persistent experiments. Your SKO will compile and reflect on these processes, including ideas that didn't make it into the final iterations.

Communication of knowledge

Your publication's initial concept should be loose enough to allow for various mutations over the semester, but specific enough that earlier and later iterations are linked recognisably. In evolving your idea, you will consider what expectations to set up, and then whether to meet or subvert them. You are strongly encouraged to explore unconventional materials, formats and techniques to engage readers on a sensory level and push the limits of print media. In doing so, you're expected to be strategic and imaginative in sourcing content, material and inspiration.


After conceptualising your publication, weekly activities will alternate between reporting on your research and presenting successive issues of your publication which showcase how you put your findings into practice. These will be alternate with workshops on different print and publishing techniques, and discussions of the history and theory behind relevant forms, genres and mediums.


Students who demonstrate innovative methods will be given the option of demonstrating them to the class.


Brief 1: Pitch
Brief 2: Series (3 issues)
Brief 3: SKO

Communities of Practice
Designing for Social Change, Designing through Image, Designing Publications, Designing Disobedience

Please note: although some materials will be provided in-class, you may find it necessary to buy other materials throughout the semester for experiments and producing your series. If you foresee this being a problem, consider alternative ways of sourcing material (ie second hand, found or recycled objects etc).

About Ben Juers

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