Bookmaking as Critical and Feminist Practice of Design

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units


Arts expansion in academia has called into question concepts, norms and regulations concerning writing and publishing. Given precedents of ‘critical practices of design’ and ‘research through practice’ grappling with such issues, I take these as ways to reconsider the academic activity of making a book (‘bookmaking’) as a critical and feminist practice of design. Through specifically feminist modes articulated by Jane Rendell – namely collectivity, interiority, alterity, materiality, and performativity –
I describe two edited books, through which I am able to discuss critical dimensions and feminist positions in the detailed everyday activities of bookmaking. I argue that feminist practice questions and opposes, but it also projects, activates, and enacts alternative norms or ideals – here, alternatives to academic norms and regulations concerning edited books. Naming and elucidating detailed aspects of bookmaking activity, as mundane critical ‘practise’ continually deliberated and performed, it is nevertheless possible to draw relations to larger theoretical issues. For example, discussing across differently situated/conditioned bookmaking practices makes it possible to trace implications of bookmaking within larger political economies, socio-economic structures, theoretical and ideological commitments.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Proceedings of DRS2018
Subtitle of host publicationCatalyst
EditorsCristiano Storni, Keelin Leahy, Muireann McMahon, Peter Lloyd, Erik Bohemia
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventDesign Research Society International Conference - University of Limerick (UL) and Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) , Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 25 Jun 201828 Jun 2018


ConferenceDesign Research Society International Conference
Abbreviated titleDRS
Internet address

    Research areas

  • institutional critique, critical practices of design, feminist epistemology, research through practice, book and bookmaking

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