Current Call for Papers

Arts & Cultural Studies Review, current call for paper:

Design Practices in Media: deadline 15th November 2019

Non-human citizens (see below): deadline 30th October 2019


Design Practices in Media

editor: Andrzej Gwóźdź

 In recent years the notion of design has become so capacious that it now means almost everything which is associated with any forms of intervention by means of aesthetic (or broader – cultural) practices in the area of symbolic and visual communication (graphic design), objects (shaping everyday objects), services, social processes and the environment. As everything, including nature, is subjected to shaping – from a signpost, through clothes, gestures, to sounds and smells.

When we take into consideration contemporary audiovisual culture and the so called new media which shape its mainstream, design becomes basically equivalent with the creation of the most widely understood techno-cultural environments: “from application software (personal computers) through information and networking systems (internet, interactive media) to mobile technologies, augmented-reality systems (ubiquitous computing – prevalence of computer technologies, moving beyond an interaction in graphical environment, synthesis of technology and physical reality)” (Marcin Składanek). Actually each time it is a “designing” intervention in the existing state in order to change it due to a specific goal (effect) for the receivers. To such an extent that design has already begun to encompass the whole sphere of artefactization owing to human activity and it has been referred to plurality of technocultures spread between art and designing (or what is traditionally defined as industrial design and what is particularly visible within the so called new media).

And although creating theoretical basis for a general theory of design in the face of such unrestrained proliferation of design classifications and divisions seems unlikely (and rather pointless), it is difficult to avoid an attempt to epistemologize the problem. However, one single theory of design does not and cannot exist because the subject is too complex and heterogeneous.

Also in the meta-theoretical discourse there is such an epistemological impetus that design has begun to occupy considerable areas of contemporary epistemology entering areas of various disciplines of culture studies (design studies). Design itself aspires to become science about creating contact with different cultural interfaces and about these interfaces as such (knowledge media design), including designing users’ interactions in computer systems (metadesign).

Being aware of the importance and cognitive attractiveness of the indicated research fields, we want to dedicate the next issue of “Przegląd Kulturoznawczy” (“Cultural Studies Review”) to problems related to functioning of media due to design practices articulated in them. The aim will be an attempt to define a technocultural reflection on transformation of media cultures, their forms and functions in an era which is said to have replaced visual culture with design culture. But also more broadly – a reflection on design as a phenomenon of media cultures in general (design as a forum for cultural strategies) in both a theoretical, anthropological and sociocultural perspective.

We suggest reflection upon the following topics and encourage the Authors to expand them:

  1. The ways of design presence in media and by means of media – theories, philosophies, aesthetics.
  2. Design in practice (styles and effects of design use in various areas of media culture).
  3. Data visualization practices in digital environments (interface graphosphere).
  4. Media arts and aesthetic practices in the face of design (e.g. video mapping).
  5. High-resolution design – the ecstasy of communication after Baudrillard.
  6. Strategies for designing interfaces of new media (Appleization of design?).
  7. Emergency design – crisis management by means of media.
  8. Emotional design in the perspective of media articulation.
  9. Speculative design – the laboratory of the future.
  10. Metadesign, or thinking through design.
  11. Look – aesthetics and pragmatics of “packaging” as a form of communication.
  12. Posthumanist contexts of design.
  13. Social responsibility of design.


Prof. Dr Hab. Andrzej Gwóźdź (Institute of Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Silesia) is the substantive and lead editor of the issue.

We are looking forward to Your papers not exceeding 40 000 characters till 15th November 2019.

Please kindly submit the papers to:


Non-human citizens

The humanist definition of “human as the measure of all things” is strongly connected to the peripheralization of the naturalised, sexualised and racialised “others”. Its transgression, as Rosi Braidotti remarks, may result in a more creative and vitalist approach to culture (or nature-culture). Noticing the impact of non-human actors may become the impulse to change the understanding of many human creations, which in the glory days of the Eurocentric, masculinist humanism were interpreted solely from the perspective of – and in relation to – their human creator. Posthumanism invites us to rethink reality as not-only-ours.

A particularly interesting direction for research arising from the new, non-human perspective, is to get to know anew the “fortress” of the enlightened man – the city. The posthumanist turn proposes reflection on the city that pays close attention to the relationships between nature, things, technology, affects and humans (the list is open). This appreciation becomes helpful when we begin to think about how plants, animals and technologies have “colonized” the cities in the absence of our reflection. What kinds of influence do non-human actors have on our behaviour in the city? These issues also show the importance of how urban policies are shaped. When urban development is planned, are both the human and the non-human inhabitants taken into consideration?

In studies of things, technologies and urban affects, tools developed within the actor-network theory (ANT) and new materialism become very helpful. This is because the attempts at understanding the posthuman subject are probably the most rewarding when we examine its role within the network of relations and emphasise the material form of each actor (understood very broadly, to include the materiality of the virtual). Here, the methodological support can be offered by the Science and Technology Studies (STS), perspectives that are „turned to things”, theoretical lens offered by new materialists (Braidotti, Bennett, Barad, Morton).

Reflections on non-human city dwellers gathered in this issue should offer conclusions on how new cities should be planned and how existing cities could change to accommodate the needs of animals, plants and things. No less important are the characterisations and attempts to understand various non-human actors and their needs, desires and ways of living.


We expect bold and interdisciplinary papers. We are looking for reflections on cities that go beyond criticism to build on new ideas, approaches and concepts. The goal is not to collect simple conclusions that cities need to be more inclusive – quite the opposite – we want to if and how is it possible to co-exist in symmetry.


We encourage all authors to conduct and present research on one or more of the following issues, and we remain open to other proposals:

  • Non-human actors in cities created due to geological or hydrological conditions, such as port cities or mining cities
  • Non-human actors in isolated, non-human parts of cities, such as botanical gardens, city meadows, floodplains, zoological gardens, animal shelters, temporary homes for animals, hotels for animals, non-human cemeteries, lost property offices, memory places
  • Urban things that affect human behaviour in the city, for example traffic lights, urban monitoring, city bikes, city scooters, public water fountains, city braziers
  • Negotiations between things and nature in the city. Things that have been taken over by nature, such as fences with trees grown into them, overgrown empty properties, waste and garbage, ruins
  • Affective city: urban sensorium, the role of senses and affects in the perception of cities by humans and non-humans, sound and light in the city as non-human actors (and their relations between humans and non-humans), urban hyperobjects as pollution and its „(in)visibility” in the urban spheres


The main editors and supervisors of the thematic issue are: dr Monika Sadowska (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities) and dr Monika Stobiecka (Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw)


Please submit texts of no more than 40,000 characters by 30th of October 2019 to the following e-mail address:

You can find more information about the editorial requirements on our website: .


Arts & Cultural Studies Review is an open-access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to cultural studies research in all its diversity, publishing a wide range of texts: from theoretical papers on the philosophy of culture to empirical research concerning specific areas of cultural practices. Our primary goal is to become a space for an academic discussion about the ever-changing phenomenon of culture. We are interested in presenting not only the original research papers but also reviews of books significant for the development of our discipline as well as interviews and debates relevant to contemporary humanities.