AIS/Design. Storia e Ricerche – No. 10 – October 2017 – Call

AIS/Design. Storia e Ricerche – No. 10 – October 2017
Design Histories Through and From Sources

“AIS/Design. Storia e Ricerche”, the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal of the Italian Association of Design Historians, will celebrate the publication of its 10th issue in 2017.
Since its founding in 2013, the journal has provided a historical perspective on such topics as the design of materials (No. 4), design for the food industry (No. 5), the relationship of designers with writing (No. 6 ), the designer’s workspace (No. 7). Two more thematic issues are currently under preparation, dedicated to the digital revolution in the field of graphic design (No. 8, October 2016) and to the figure of the designer/educator Enzo Frateili (No. 9, March 2017).

On the occasion of its 10th release (October 2017), “AIS/Design. Storia e Ricerche” will publish a miscellaneous issue that will feature research studies on a variety of topics proposed by the authors, with a specific focus on the use of primary sources. The fil rouge of the issue will therefore be methodological.

This issue of the journal, titled “Design Histories Through and From Sources”, aims to gather original contributions based on the examination, study and interpretation of primary sources available in different forms – physical/analogue or digital – including textual, iconographic or multimedia sources, archival files as well as oral testimony. We are looking for papers that will not only delve into the analysis of specific sources, but will also reflect on the use of these sources and on the challenges and opportunities they represent for the historiography of design.
Contemporary historical narrative tends to privilege storytelling, rather than relying on the collection, organization, comparative study and interpretation of first-hand data and information. At the same time, the growing number of sources and documents, often characterised by instability, typological heterogeneity, different media and formats, uncertainty with regards to their context of reference (multimedia and digital, for example, or oral sources), makes the historian’s work more challenging and broadens the scope of history making.

Issue 10 of “AIS/Design. Storia e Ricerche” is seeking articles that:
• offer an original reconstruction of stories of design and design culture (that may even contrast with previous, accepted interpretations) based on the study of primary sources, and that will also critically discuss the specificity of the sources consulted and contextualise their use in the phases of research and interpretation;
reflect more broadly (again on the basis of first-hand knowledge and experience of primary sources) on the potential of primary sources to provide new perspectives on the history of design; on the challenges and methodological opportunities offered by the heterogeneity of sources, formats and media; on the types of sources that can be used to address the multiple histories of design (e.g. in different national contexts); on the role and contribution of the various figures involved in the processes of preservation, interpretation and utilization of sources, from historians to people who work in archives, to designers themselves.


All submissions are subject to blind peer-review.
Deadlines are as follows:
November 14, 2016: abstract submission; the abstract (max. 300 words) will illustrate the contribution proposal (specifying the types of sources that will be used, the methodological and historiographic approach that the author/s intend to sustain); it will include the title, 5 keywords and a short biography (max. 150 words).The abstract may be in English (or English and Italian)
December 5, 2016: authors will be notified of the editors’ interest in the proposal;
April 24, 2017: full paper submission;
• By June 19: authors will be notified of the peer-review’s outcome and of the eventual acceptance of their papers (changes or additional work may be needed in view of publication);
July 31: final paper submission.

All submissions should be sent to:
and cc:
For information and questions contact the editors at:


All proposed contributions must be original texts. Papers that are beyond the scope of the journal, that have previously been submitted to other journals or have already been featured (in any language), or that replicate texts published elsewhere, will be rejected without peer review.

Contributions will fall into the following categories:

1. Essay (contributions presenting a theoretical, critical, and methodological stance that offer an in-depth discussion or re-reading of broad historical arguments and questions) (max. 8000 words, including notes, references, captions)

2. Research study (papers based on studies conducted on primary sources and offering original historical insight into specific topics or stories) (max. 8000 words, including notes, references, captions)

3. Micro-history (papers that analyse particular and specific stories, which have been neglected to date or refer to the border areas of the discipline) (max. 4000 words, including notes, references, captions)

Full papers will be accompanied by a short abstract (max. 150 words), a list of 5 keywords, and by a short biographical note (max. 150 words).

Style and preparation guidelines are available from

To complement their contribution, authors can submit up to 10 images (copyright-free images or images for which authors have obtained the right/permission of publication), accompanied by full captions (including credits).

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Maddalena Dalla Mura

Maddalena Dalla Mura (Udine, Italy, 1974) carries out research in the fields of design and graphic design history and museum studies. With an MA in Preservation of Cultural Heritage (2000), in 2010 she received her PhD in Design Sciences from the Università Iuav di Venezia. She has since collaborated with the Design and Museology research group at the same university. From 2012 to 2015 she collaborated on several research projects at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where she has also taught Languages and Theories of Visual Communication. Since 2016/2017 she teaches Design history at the Università degli studi di Ferrara. She is associate editor of the design history journal AIS/Design: Storia e Ricerche. /

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