SNACKs are a unique project of the student design journal at our University. Akin to monographs, these serial short-run publications are produced throughout the year and thus quickly respond to much-needed coverage of the impressive array of internationally known speakers that visit and present workshops at our School. SNACKs create opportunities for students to get involved with publishing as well as offer a venue for material experimentation.
Every year, dozens of internationally known speakers visit the our School. Over the past two years, the student design journal began a process of expanding student engagement with the visitors through hosting a series of interviews tied to short-run publication initiatives. Affectionately called
SNACKs, they are a means to producing informal material more quickly than the annually released journal, as well as allow for students who have a particular interest in a speaker step up and take on a leadership role in producing a small publication. Due to assembling them in small batches, material exploration is also encouraged in their design – though they are a series, no two snacks are alike!
Interviews hosted by the SNACK initiative include the following speakers:
+ Kate Orff of SCAPE Landscape Architecture PLLC
+ Adam Yarinsky of Architecture Research Office (ARO)
+ Adriaan Gueze of West 8 urban design & landscape architecture
+ Andy Payne of Lift Architects
+ Marc Tsurumaki of LTL Architects
+ Gary Hilderbrand and Douglas Reed of Reed Hilderbrand LLC
+ Laurie Olin of OLIN Studio
+ Xaveer De Geyter of Xaveer De Geyter Architects (XDGA)
+ Matthias Hollwich of HWKN
+ Francis Hallé and Peter Del Tredici, renowned botanists
+ and others!
SNACKs are not just a publication: they are a mode of investigating the work of the guest and a way of engaging the student body. As a result of their success, an iPhone app has been designed so that the SNACK interviews that do not result in a physical publication can be shared with an even wider audience.
SNACKs have set a precedent and so now when visitor is scheduled to come to the School, time is made for a student interview. Over 150 students have been active participants in SNACK production through the interview process. Professors have been particularly excited about the potential of this effort, requesting SNACKs for distribution to friends and practitioners. SNACKs have been given as gifts to visitors and donors as well as used in student recruiting. Every single SNACK has sold out in its first run.
The production of SNACKs allows the journal staff to increase student involvement throughout the year in the design, concept, editing, and production of the publications. Since the first release of SNACKs, they have been passed between students and faculty and given to visitors of the School to demonstrate that we make the most of the opportunities presented to us and actively engender further dialogue outside of our building. The first SNACK was so successful that it assisted in securing funding by the Dean for a full scale press, including a production printer, stack cutter, and binder, as well as secured funding through the other University councils to support the interviews and production of further SNACKs.
The student design journal and SNACKs are published with the ambition of contributing to lifelong learning and increased awareness of the essential role of design in society. As such, we also continually seek to diversify and increase our distribution to our School’s community and to the wider public. As a result, we are currently distributing issues of the journal to departments across the University as well as local bookstores and community organizations in our area, and have expanded the influence of SNACKs through free distribution on our website and on the SNACK iPhone app.
It is imperative that our School shares the potential of design’s impact on social, ethical, and environmental concerns with a wider audience, and therefore all digital access to SNACK materials is free. Through their publication and distribution, the student design journal and SNACKs help cultivate a greater public appreciation of cross-disciplinary design issues and thought and will continue to expand their reach by engaging diverse sources of distribution.