OSP call for members
We, Open Source Publishing (OSP), are looking for people to join our collective.
OSP is a graphic design collective based in Brussels. We work on typography, websites, web-to print tools and plotters. We exclusively use free and open source software (F/LOSS). Through our projects we question software as cultural objects and modes of collaboration between graphic designers, artists, cultural institutions and schools. We question the influence and affordances of digital tools through the practice of (commissioned) graphic design, teaching and applied research.
We are currently increasing the role of research based projects, shifting from a practice that is mostly commission based. As part of this shift, we would like to welcome new members with their own expertise and experiences. We want to make space for researchers, artists, designers, students and/or amateurs who have an interest in our practice and would like to connect their own to it.
Within OSP the members are currently working on:
- collaborative publishing platforms;
- web-to-print publication processes;
- stroke fonts and licenses;
- specificities of web standards (HTML/CSS) as a medium.
We do this through commissions, research and teaching. Outside of OSP our practices also include algorithmic literature, inclusive typography, cyber feminism, textile coding, and dj-ing. We collaborate with: cultural institutions, curators, artists, architects, journalists and researchers. We design and develop websites, books and identities, and organise workshops. From time to time we are solicited for interviews or contributions as researchers because of our singular experience with open-source tools and culture, and conscious relationship with the tools we use.
OSP as a collectivity has jagged edges. Almost all members have a practice next to their work within OSP, the involvement ranges from one to three days a week. With this call we want to make the process of joining or collaborating with OSP more transparent.
Call for members
We are looking for two new members who can bring new experiences and practices. That is to say, we would like to be surprised, so you are welcome to apply even if you’re not a graphic designer or developer. However, questions around free culture, digital design, interfaces or tools can be a common denominator. Your involvement in OSP can take different shapes depending on your wishes and needs.
We are in a process of diversifying and investigating how research can live alongside our daily OSP practices. That's why we’re particularly interested in people who are experienced in facilitating this type of process or exploring new ways of working together on similarly diverse practices. The collaborative aspect of our work is fundamental to us, and a big part of our practice. Projects often come in through the individual members. We welcome you to bring your own practice and ecosystem to extend the collective.
Summing up, we are looking for members who:
- demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively (not work alone);
- show an ability to expand and deepen their practice through research (artistic or academic);
- use free and open source software whenever possible;
- publish source files under free licenses;
Concretely we imagine you to:
- join us on commisions, and/or research projects;
- actively contribute to OSP as a collective, notably by participating to weekly meetings;
- work in our studio space according to your schedule
We pay ourselves on a per-project basis, using OSP as a fiscal structure to invoice. A part of the income (25%) is used to pay for costs (rent, travel, webhosting, etc.), to support internal work and to create a financial buffer. As the flow and nature of OSP projects fluctuates a lot, we can not provide a regular, and sufficient income through commisions. We’ve recently started experiments with providing a more regular and predictable income through our financial buffer.
We ask you to apply with a proposal, in any form that you think fits you practice well. We hope your proposal can give us insight to the following questions:
- What is your current practice?
- What has been your trajectory so far?
- If applicable: the tracks of research you’re interested in and ideas on how to pursue them within OSP.
- If you apply as a non-graphic-designer: precise how you imagine the collaboration with the current OSP members (on commission and/or in research projects)?
length indication: around 1500 words. It can be in any format you prefer: pdf, website, raw text file, video, sound; and can be either sent a joint piece through email, or hosted (in which case simply send us the link).
We also ask you to include maximum 5 recent projects or experiences. This can take the form of a visual portfolio as well as short texts explaining different projects you’ve worked on.
This call was first published on June 1st 2023. Applications should be sent to email@example.com. The deadline for proposals is June 30th 2023. You will receive an automatic reply to confirm receipt. We will get back to you by July 12th, and will then organize meetings in July and September according to your availability.
If you have any questions about the application, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What we offer
At the studio
This list is non-exhaustive and come with the complex socio-technical environment that is a studio.
- A Desk
- A meeting table with space for up to 8 people
- Laser printer, color A3
- A collection of pen plotters, with print size ranging from A ∞ → A0
- Two Silhouette Cameo cutting machines
- Small thermo printers
- A3 Scanner, beamer, paper and color samples, etc.
The studio of OSP is located on the 2nd floor of a building equipped with elevators, one of the access doors has a ramp. The floor has wheelchair accessible bathrooms without handrails. Public transport is a few hundred meters away (Botanique/Kruidtuin, Rogier, Central station, Brussels Congres). The building has bike racks behind a lockable door.
Working with many
OSP is composed mostly of French and Dutch speakers, but most of communication within OSP is done in English.
Notably, our studio is part of Meyboom artist-run-spaces. The floor has a shared kitchen and meeting spaces. Meyboom brings together a community of individuals and collectives working in different fields that has continually evolved since its formation in the year 2013. Formerly located in Vaartstraat, World Trade Center 1, then in the previous headquarters of Actiris in the city center; we are now inhabiting the second level of the building Pacheco 34, located on Boulevard Pachécolaan 34 between the central and north station in the city of Brussels — a place we want to make a permanent address for our community.
OSP has 16 years of practice in making graphic design with F/LOSS tools. On the way we’ve tried many tools and gained a diverse collection of expertises, including:
- extensive knowledge on free software culture, licenses and tools;
- programming knowledge (HTML, CSS, JS and Python) and tool development;
- font bending and drawing;
- tools to bend PDFs: reorder, impose, compress and shift color space;
- (Typo)graphic and visual expertise that takes into account the means of production.
Constant relearning is important to us, and we see projects as opportunities to learn from the fragile crafts of each other, especially in the vast technical ecosystem of F/LOSS tools.
Through the following links you'll find some of our research: Declarations, Ecotones of collaboration, Up pen down, Drawing Curved.
Up pen down, page 5, Ductus
The current members active on a daily basis are:
Einar Andersen (he, him) is a designer, developer among other things. These days Einar mostly works with web design and development but spends his freetime programming generative art for plotters, exploring alternative graphic design workflows and weird keyboards.
Amélie Dumont (she, her) is a graphic designer, typographer and developer. She cooks custom tools for publishing through webpages and print supports and also has a non-conventional type design practice. Amélie is also a teacher at erg and has experience in giving web-to-print workshops in art schools. She joined OSP in September 2022 and is still discovering how it feels to work as a collective.
Gijs de Heij (he, him) is graphic designer, developer and artist. Within OSP he works on web-to-print processes and publishing platforms. Also he has an interest in pen plotters. Within the research group Algolit he works on algorithmic literature.
Ludi Loiseau (she, her) teaches typography and digital cultures at erg. She is co-founder of the Belgian investigative magazine Médor where she is in turn visual pilot, page designer and board member. In 2018 Ludi co-initiated the collective Bye Bye Binary which proposes to explore new graphic and typographic forms taking inclusive writing as a research field. She recently joined Poxcat collective who supports WMXMUSIC Parties, DJ mixes & Radio Shows in Brussels.
Sarah Magnan (she, her) is a graphic designer in Open Source Publishing and takes part in several collective practices within other collectives at the intersection between feminism, decolonial strategies, open source softwares and online knowledge tools. She is co-founder of Médor and of the (irl and url) feminist asbl Just For The Record. She works part time at La Cambre art school, helping to shift to open source tools, facilitating care practices, proposing methods for a more diverse and inclusive school.
Doriane Timmermans (she, her) is a developer, designer and artist, with a particular interest in CSS and the crafts of designing with language. She likes to think about systems and automatised processes as sensible media. She loves to create weirdly shaped tools that question our ways of doing.
Several members join us occasionally on projects : Antoine Gelgon, Pierre Huyghebaert, Alexandre Leray.
Progressivelly filling this faq as we get questions.
"are these memberships limited to people only living in Brussels or very nearby?"
This call is not limited to people living in Brussels, though we've noticed that it is important for us to regularly meet in the same space. We all have different rythms and involvements and several options are possible, but we do think that for a new collaboration, a minimum of 2 days a week, physically in the studio, is needed to give a shape and make space for this new relationship. However, we do understand that members might have other obligations through the year (residencies, other works) that doesn't allow them to be there physically the whole year.
In short, we prefer meeting in person and think at least two days a week would be best.