The Unpublishables, an independent architectural fanzine based in the UK, seeks to offer a platform for young architects - as well as designers and makers - to publish their own writing. About to launch their second edition, the zine has provided an outlet for ideas of young people who have the commitment and vision to develop their own design philosophies, polemics and research outside of full-time education or employment.
The zine was initially founded as an experiment. Editor Zoë Berman had often found herself "hearing about or stumbling across interesting writing by young designers" without an appropriate outlet for their work. "Whilst in the last few years there has been a rush to re-establish the fanzine as a means to disseminate ideas, I couldn’t find one committed specifically to young designers, or one which was wholly open to publishing a wide range of points of view. Rather there was the tendency to set a theme, belief system or an aesthetic, which the writings should satisfy."
Removing the requirement for pieces to fit into a theme ordained by a controlling editor felt risky, yet necessary. As the founder of the publication I felt nervous: what if we created something rather ugly, or too fractured to make sense? But by operating independently, free of commercial constraints and without any responsibility to external funders we could be playful and test the concept.
Working with graphic designer Catherine Smith, The Unpublishables have developed a layout which "is simple and clear, allowing each piece to stand apart from the next while retaining a visual consistency which holds otherwise disparate pieces together."
According to Zoë, "a by-product of the project has been the coming together of an evolving collective of contributors." The first issue included writing and photography from educators, urbanists, architects, designers, artists and curators. "Once you have written for The Unpublishables you spread the word and seek others to take part. This forming of a loose network has been a significant and valuable consequence, connecting together a group of interested and interesting young thinkers."
The existence of the publication relies entirely on the dedication of its contributors. If you want to contribute to future issues then you're encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can download the second edition of The Unpublishables online for free from the 7th March 2014.