Harvard Design Magazine announces inaugural issue of redesign

Harvard Design Magazine is pleased to announce the publication of “Do You Read Me?” Launched at the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, the new approach to the 17-year-old publication is the vision of recently appointed editor in chief Jennifer Sigler and associate editor Leah Whitman-Salkin, in collaboration with creative director Jiminie Ha (With Projects, Inc.).

“Do You Read Me?” invites “reading” across disciplinary boundaries, and stakes out an expanded arena for architecture and design dialogue. The question anticipates a response: “Loud and clear!” But it also suggests the possibility for distortion, misinterpretation, or evaporation of the message. This issue is about reading and misreading, and the role of design in streamlining or garbling the exchange between sender and receiver, writer and reader, maker and user. Whether written or rendered, engineered or enacted, both message and messenger are designed, and it is the relation between craft and comprehension that is explored here.  

But today, beyond the intentional construction and exchange of messages, we are all constantly “read” as data. While we offer our identities as moldable content and marketing fodder with every click; while our words, wants, and whereabouts are tracked by both “friends” and strangers; we might rethink the appeal of misunderstanding, or inscrutability. “Do You Read Me?” suggests that role of design is not just to construct certitudes, to clarify, but also to enable more nuanced realities to coexist.

The magazine combines contributions by noted critics and historians including Sanford Kwinter, Ines Weizman, and Kazys Varnelis; practitioners Diébédo Francis Kéré, Philippe Rahm, and Stephen Bates; as well as unexpected voices like technology pioneer Alan Kay, poets Eileen Myles and Tan Lin, musician Vijay Iyer, theorist Homi K. Bhabha, and many others. 

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