Open Call for Submissions

Copytheft – Post-disciplinary Approaches to Cultural Practices Transgressing Copyright Boundaries

#Copyright #Copyleft #Copytheft #Remix #Redesign #Remake #Open Design


We are pleased to announce an open call for submissions for the first English issue of Disegno – The Journal of Design Culture. Disegno is the very first double blind peer reviewed Hungarian academic free journal of design culture studies, started in 2013. The journal is available both in print and online formats (

With our next issue we intend to critically investigate and better understand the currently fashionable cultural phenomena of open design in the broadest sense possible with special interest in the different traditions of transgressing copyright boundaries and suspending the power control of intellectual property that impedes truly democratic creativity and innovation. Papers are particularly welcomed that address the illegal or semi legal copyright infringement strategies and subversive piracy culture of existed socialism during the CoCom era in the COMECON (Совет Экономической Взаимопомощи) countries of the former Soviet bloc. In addition, we are also interested in the analysis of redesign, remake and remix practices that question the very idea of exclusive authority in design culture.

Our approach is resolutely post-disciplinary. We take design culture as a flow of cultural products produced by social practices and reflected in cultural discourses. That is why papers are welcomed from all possible academic fields that are possibly interested in design culture such as design history, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, sociology, media theory, film theory, intellectual history etc.

A number of themes arise, including the following.

  • authorship, copyright, intellectual property in central and semi-peripheral capitalist and post-soviet countries
  • intellectual history of authorship, copyright, intellectual property / copyright infringement, forgery, piracy
  • copytheft: forged design products in the CoCom era
  • redesign and personal tuning of licensed products (e. g. Renault-Dacia, Fiat-Lada, Citroen-Oltcit etc.) in the COMECON countries
  • phenomena of mashup videos (e. g. Marclay, Pálffy etc.); community authorship projects (e. g. Life in a Day)
  • remix cultures
  • redesign, retrospective and nostalgic tendencies in contemporary fashion design, food design, graphic design, movies, urban design, etc.
  • DIY and tinker movements, bricolage, débrouillardise / resourcefulness (System D), and other semi or completely illegal problem solving methods driven by necessity or curiosity


Deadline for submission of abstracts (max. 300 words): 15th November 2015

Feedback on acceptance or refusal: 30th November 2015

Deadline for papers: 15th January 2016.

Peer-review: 15th February 2016

Deadline for final papers: 1st March 2016

Expected publication date: end of April 2016


Early Career Researchers

Disegno is highly committed to prevent the forced career change of talented young researchers, which is an increasingly common phenomenon due to economic reasons, especially in the area of the Humanities. This is why and thanks to the support of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design we are able to provide a modest honorary contribution of 200 euros for early career researchers. Eligible for this are the authors of accepted and published papers who are younger than 35 and do not have a full-time academic affiliation.


Please send your appr. 300 words abstract and a short bio to within the 15th of November 2015.