LoR/E, the Library of Readings & Essays—A Comprehensive Index of Keywords & Defining Subject Matters, is a self-initiated, in-progress project which, since its creation in 2010, has developed into a growing online resource for art and design-driven research.
The creation of LoR/E has been influenced, most of all, by the graphic designers and (design) writers of our time—notably: Daniel van der Velden, Will Holder, Stuart Bailey, Robin Kinross, Anthony Froshaug—who have implicitly and explicitly advocated for the importance of reading and personal research, for the pursuit of knowledge (both design-related and not), and, generally speaking, for the broadening of a designer’s repertoire to include skills beyond those related to the visual and the aesthetic. As such—and in reaction to a particular culture of designers who, whether in their role as designers or as readers, focus increasingly less on content in favor of the visual—LoR/E promotes an appreciation for language and intellectually-inclined content.
With each reading or essay that is filed into LoR/E, essential information about its origin (author, publication, year, page range, publisher, et al.) is systematically recorded. The reading or essay’s most relevant keywords, topics, and defining subject matters are then identified and subsequently indexed.
Therefore, the objective of LoR/E is to serve as a niche resource for designers and creatives who have a critical outlook and to provide them and other interested individuals with access to a dynamic and comprehensively indexed database that encourages said users:
1. To further seek out the listed readings and essays themselves (utilizing the provided information about the reading or essay’s availability in libraries, bookshops, or online)
2. To initiate their own research or investigation of any number of the expansive and (often) interrelated topics and subject matters
3. To incite a general spirit of discovery and the sharing of knowledge via browsing
Also, while this project essentially deconstructs readings and essays, it’s important to note that LoR/E should not be interpreted as an attempt to conclusively synopsize them. Nor should LoR/E, despite its eventual aim to gather vast amounts of information, be held to the expectation that it can contain a definitive collection of readings and/or essays.
LoR/E is currently made available through Google Docs where its entered information can be easily viewed and searched. “List view” (access under the “View” tab within the Google Docs interface) allows users to view all of LoR/E’s entries within drop-down-menu lists where, for example, searches for author names, publishers, or keywords and defining subject matters can be refined and quickly filtered.
LoR/E includes readings and essays from a number of different discipline areas (i.e., “Readings on Design” or “Readings on Contemporary Media & Technology”). Users, dy default, will have access to the entire LoR/E database, but readings and essays can also be filtered and explored via the “Shelf” column.
List of shelves created for LoR/E thus far:
⋅ Shelf A: Readings on Design
⋅ Shelf B: Readings on Design Education
⋅ Shelf C: Readings on Contemporary Art
⋅ Shelf D: Readings on Visual Culture, Visual Anthropology, Photography
⋅ Shelf E: Readings on Contemporary Media & Technology
⋅ Shelf F: Readings on Film & Television
⋅ Shelf G: Readings on Cultural Studies, Media Theory, Literary Theory
If you would like to gain access to the LoR/E database for your personal reference, please email makingknown(a)gmail.com.
Soon after, a reply email will be sent to you containing a Google Docs invitation which grants you access to and instructions on viewing LoR/E.