What was the thinking behind the books intriguing title?
Katie Evans: A Line Which Forms a Volume borrows its title from a subheading in Michel Butor’s essay ‘The Book as Object’. Under this heading the French novelist explores how writing records threads of speech and thoughts by dividing and stacking this continuous stream: ‘every word follows one other, precedes one other. As a result, they take their places along a line activated by a meaning, along an axis.’ Initially presented as a working title and concept by editorial advisor Bryony Quinn, this metaphor of a line moving into and filling a space resonated with the publication’s aims. Not only did the audibility and volume clearly link to the symposium and our strive to disseminate, and make the research public, it also reflected how we wanted the design research to be read: rooted in the present whilst continuously evolving and asking new questions. We continued to roll with the ideas from the text throughout the publishing process, developing our initial editorial concepts and strategies from it, which fed into the design ideas, leading to the splicing method found in the final publication.
The title itself also informed how we began collectively writing a manifesto with the design team. This was edited for the publication’s introduction text, creating a system of dialogue, ‘A Volume is a space that projects, amplifies, and disseminates. A Line is a question, a conversation, a response’.
The book is a collaboration between participants who are all on the same course, produced in quite a short time frame, how did the different roles get divided up? Was it a rewarding process?
Katie Evans: At the start of the process the roles were split into editors, editorial team, design team and symposium team. Responsibilities for each were outlined prior to the process, and we applied for them based on whether we wanted to build on existing knowledge and experience, or whether we had a curiosity to develop previously unexplored avenues of publishing. From the start, there were clear expectations from us and we used weekly meetings to present ideas, negotiate outcomes, and to collectively make decisions quickly. A mutual trust and respect between the teams was important for this to be an effective working model, which allowed for open conversations as well as planned actions to be made and met for the next week.
Not everything was as clear cut, the set roles did naturally shift and morph throughout the process, at times spreading into many and at others, becoming very specific. This allowed the project to continually evolve; for example, when the idea of an active reading list was put forward by advisors Wayne Daly and Claire Lyon, the role of an Archivist was developed to help generate and manage this. Cate Rickards began to organise potential systems with LCC Librarians, something we are continuing to work on and hope to establish and expand with the coming issues. It was great to have this collaborative network with each other and within the wider university.