The Story Behind the Design

Wanted: Writers for Winter INNOVATION

Apr 14 2016 - 9:10am

IDSA is inviting designers and writers to submit their ideas for narrative/creative non-fiction essays on design and storytelling to be considered for publication in the Winter issue of INNOVATION magazine. This issue will be edited and curated by Prasad Boradkar, professor of industrial design at Arizona State University; co-director of The Biomimicry Center; and director of InnovationSpace—and Lee Gutkind, founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction, the first and largest literary magazine to publish narrative/creative nonfiction, exclusively.

"There’s a living, visible structure to design in what we see, feel and sense in the spaces we occupy and in most things we need and use—products such as furniture, housewares, athletic equipment, medical devices, etc.," say the editors. "The creation of these items and ideas begin and end with story—precipitated by an obvious need or a problem perceived. The story is the primary, motivating event that leads to design and to innovation."

The editors add that there’s also a structure to true storytelling—a genre referred to in the literary/publishing world as narrative or creative nonfiction. "A design, not only in the way it's crafted, but also a storytelling design in the way it's created—the process from start to finish."

Send one-page abstracts—no more than 250 words each—about the story you want to tell on design, along with a brief bio. Each abstract should outline your story; how you will write it; and what you want to say about your ideas and experiences. The subject matter is open. Your abstract could focus on a project that you (or your colleagues) have completed recently or are working on now. It could focus on an idea or concept.  But this must be a true story.

The deadline for abstracts is May 15, 2016. You will be notified by June 15, 2016 if your submission is accepted. Stories will be due September 1, 2016. Please send your submission to the attention of INNOVATION Managing Editor Karen Berube at

Since this issue is about design and storytelling, the stories should be written in true, creative nonfiction format. For information on how to write in this genre, see: