Clever Design in Critical Times: Conceptualizing the Callidocene

edited by Milena Radzikowska, Stan Ruecker, Guilherme Meyer, and Teresa Dobson, Lexington Books (coming in 2024)

The Callidocene, from the Latin word callidus, is intended to encompass human, machine, and system cleverness. It includes but extends beyond the concept of the Anthropocene—a name given to the latest epoch (beginning in 1950) where human influence on the planet has accelerated.
While the word Anthropocene has become strongly associated with concerns over the human role in climate change and the resulting climate disasters, our collection emphasizes some of the more hopeful or positive aspects of human influence on the world. Designers in particular have been increasingly attempting to consider the impact of their work on society, culture, and the environment, and this book will contribute to that conversation. 

The chapters in this collection cover a wide range of topics, from complexity in design to media toxicity to community innovation in sustainability. And, collectively, they highlight the potential of human cleverness to address or even reverse the damage we’ve inflicted on ourselves and our planet.

Stories of Feminist Protest and Resistance: Digital Performative Assemblies

edited by Brianna I. Wiens, Michelle MacArthur, Shana MacDonald, and Milena Radzikowska, Rowman & Littlefield, 2023

Stories of Feminist Protest and Resistance: Digital Performative Assemblies foregrounds the importance of storytelling for coalition building, solidarity, and performative assembly. Bringing together scholars and activists from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, this book offers creative explorations, analyses, personal stories, and case studies of digital feminist activism that speak directly to the many ways that feminist communities assemble for the purposes of protest and resistance. 

Through various forms of feminist media mobilizations, from hashtag feminism and platform activism to personal blogs and meme accounts, these chapters explore how digital feminists use the long-standing tactics of storytelling to counter the dominant narratives of white supremacy, colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and the intersecting oppressions that accompany such structures, both online and offline. By sharing stories of intersectional feminist assembly for collective justice, this book contributes to larger conversations about establishing alternative ways of seeing and being in the world, inviting others to assemble with us.

Networked Feminisms: Activist Assemblies and Digital Practices
edited by Shana MacDonald, Brianna I. Wiens, Michelle MacArthur, and Milena Radzikowska, Rowman & Littlefield, 2021

The collection of essays outlines how feminists employ a variety of online platforms, practices, and tools to create spaces of solidarity and to articulate a critical politics that refuses popular forms of individual, consumerist, white feminist empowerment in favor of collective, tangible action. Including scholars and activists from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, these essays help to catalog the ways in which feminists are organizing online to mobilize different feminist, queer, trans, disability, reproductive justice, and racial equality movements. Together, these perspectives offer a comprehensive overview of how feminists are employing the tools of the internet for political change. Grounded in intersectional feminism––a perspective that attends to the interrelatedness of power and oppression based on race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and other identities––this book gathers provocations, analyses, creative explorations, theorizations, and case studies of networked feminist activist practices. In doing so, this collection archives important work already done within feminist digital cultures and acts as a vital blueprint for future feminist action.

Design and the Digital Humanities: A Handbook for Mutual Understanding​
Milena Radzikowska and Stan Ruecker, Intellect, 2022​

This is an essential practical guide for academics, researchers, and professionals involved in the digital humanities, and designers working with them. It prepares readers from both fields for working together, outlining disciplinary perspectives and lessons learned from more than twenty years of experience, with over two dozen practical exercises.

The central premise of the book is a timely one – that the twin disciplines of visual communication design and digital humanities (DH) are natural allies, with much to be gained for researchers, students, and practitioners from both areas who are able to form alliances with those from the other side. The disciplines share a common fundamental belief in the extraordinary value of interdisciplinarity, which in this case means that the training, experience, and inclinations from both fields naturally tends to coincide. The fields also share an interest in research that focuses on humanities questions and approaches, where the goal is to improve understanding through repeated observation and discussion. Both disciplines tend to be generative in nature, with the ultimate end in many cases of designing and creating the next generation of systems and tools, whether those be intended for dealing with information or communication.

The book describes and demonstrates foundational concepts from both fields with numerous examples, as well as projects, activities, and further readings at the end of each chapter. It provides the complete coverage of core design and DH principles, complete with illustrated case studies from cutting-edge interdisciplinary research projects. Design and the Digital Humanities offers a unique approach to mastering the fundamental processes, concepts, and techniques critical to both disciplines.

Prototyping across the Disciplines: Designing Better Futures

edited by Jennifer Roberts-Smith, Stan Ruecker, and Milena Radzikowska, Intellect, 2021

If people from different fields are going to work together on projects, then they need to begin to understand each other. They can be separated by the words they use, the ways they work and how they think. However, in many fields there is common ground, in the attempts to create what is sometimes called inventive knowledge. These fields progress not only by understanding increasingly more about what already exists, but by making guesses about possible better futures. The guesses consist of small forays into that future, using strategies that are variously called learning through making, research through design or, more simply, prototyping.

While traditionally associated primarily with industrial design, and more recently with software development, prototyping is now used as an important tool in areas ranging from materials engineering to landscape architecture to the digital humanities. This book collects current theories and methods of prototyping in a dozen disciplines, illustrating them through case studies of actual projects, whether in industry or the classroom.

This edited collection aims to provide a context, a theoretical framework and a set of methodologies for interdisciplinary collaboration in design. Each chapter offers a different disciplinary perspective on prototyping, providing a case study as a point of comparison for identifying commonalities and divergences in current practices. Contributions are from a group of scholars with worldwide experience of working and presenting in design, and who are currently based in Canada, the United States, Chile and Brazil.

Visual Interface Design for Digital Cultural Heritage: A Guide to Rich-Prospect Browsing

Stan Ruecker, Milena Radzikowska, and Stefan Sinclair, Routledge, 2011

Browsing for information is a significant part of most research activity, but many online collections hamper browsing with interfaces that are variants on a search box. Research shows that rich-prospect interfaces can offer an intuitive and highly flexible alternative environment for information browsing, assisting hypothesis formation and pattern-finding. This unique book offers a clear discussion of this form of interface design, including a theoretical basis for why it is important, and examples of how it can be done. It will be of interest to those working in the fields of library and information science, human-computer interaction, visual communication design, and the digital humanities as well as those interested in new theories and practices for designing web interfaces for library collections, digitized cultural heritage materials, and other types of digital collections.