Author: Minuette LeMinuette Le is a Design Researcher at HPL with an interest in open innovation systems and public services. She has an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons the New School for Design with a focus on design research, systems thinking, and service design. Her practice involves design across disciplinary fields and social innovation ranging from urban and community development, food systems, public space interventions, and digital futures.
In exploring the complexities and speculative futures of academic publishing the HPL is developing new tools, systems, infrastructures and ideas within a problem space that is both trapped within feudal academic knowledge exchange system, and rapidly changing everyday. From the death of Aaron Swartz to the scurrying realignments of the big academic publishers with their digital counterparts; there is an urgency for new ideas to develop new systems that question the exclusivity, inaccessibility, narrowness, and conservativism of the feudal systems to take on a more democratic form. Knowledge managed by the few will, by necessity become knowledge managed by the many. While there are many reasons why knowledge needs to be opened, I agree with Brian Whitworth and Robert Friedman when they say the major drive for this movement will be that ‘only democratic knowledge exchange can scale up to support the breadth, speed and flexibility modern cross–disciplinary research needs.’We now find ourselves between a print past and a digital future characterized by hybrid, transitional, and in perpetual negotiation; a condition that that requires us to engage with other researchers and practitioners and to anticipate constant reinvention, and to anticipate a multiplicity of ideas. The Hybrid Publishing Lab was developed to begin tackling some of these big issues through trandisciplinary research (and design).