Our understanding of publishing has changed drastically over the last two decades. Whereas traditionally, publishing activities used to be bundled in publishing houses, today, content can be produced, reproduced, and shared from our living rooms. While this shift does not point to a complete dissolution of specialized practices such as content production, editing, designing, or curating, it outlines a diversification of roles. We write, design, share, negotiate, translate, discuss, present, and disseminate. Furthermore, we do so on various channels ranging from books, digital publications, social media, and exhibitions to events. Traversing different roles, languages, formats, and media, we must acquire critical literacy to understand how our means result from social and political struggles. This includes critically questioning how we make things public and working towards ways to institute publics otherwise.

The project’s goal is to develop a learning environment for critical publishing. The project creates a space where students acquire various skills through collaborative work on publications, test collective forms of work and communication, and undertake research on communication and publication practices. Methodologically, the project relies on a research-based approach promoting peer-to-peer learning, building transdisciplinary skills, and closely accompanying learning processes through mentorships. By creating a permanent infrastructure, the project institutionally bundles the knowledge associated with publishing at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW and builds new research-based learning and publishing competencies.