In Summer 2018 My Bookcase was asked to design a portable bookstand for ScholarLed, a consortium of Academic Book Presses. Designed in collaboration with Julien McHardy from Mattering Press, the bookstand followed a simple premise: to use paper and the object of the book as the main design material.
Using Fedrigoni paper as placemats, each placemat define an element of the stand. Elements that compose the bookstand are: the open ‘A Book of Books’, the USB ‘A Book of Books’, an informative booklet, bookmarks, books and the events board. The design is flexible and can be adapted to the different contexts the bookstand will travel. From a simple version of showing one or two elements in a Conference, to a full showcase in a big table. The design is also unlimited, being able to expand by adding more placemats and elements.
ScholarLed is a consortium of six academic-led, not-for-profit, open access book publishers that was formed earlier 2018. Individually they comprise Mattering Press, MayFly Books, meson press, Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press, and punctum books, and collectively they are seeking to develop powerful, practical ways for small-scale, academic-led Open Access presses to grow and flourish in a publishing landscape that is changing rapidly.
The aim of the collective is to explore the potential of working together. This includes developing systems and practices that allow presses to provide each other with forms of mutual support, ranging from pooled expertise to shared on- and offline infrastructures. Members of the consortium each retain their distinct identity as publishers, with different audiences, processes, business models and stances towards Open Access. What they share, however, is a commitment to opening up scholarly research to diverse readerships, to resisting the marketization of academic knowledge production, and to working collaboratively rather than in competition.