The journal’s new look – interview with Juma Hauser

The launch of the 30th anniversary edition of Environmental Politics is imminent. In celebration of this, we talk to Juma Hauser, the designer whose wonderful new visualisations and cover design for the journal won the Cover Design Competition.

Can you remember what you thought when you found out that you‘d won? 

Because of the time shift, the message came in late in the evening and thus in a quiet moment, which have been very rare during the pandemic, with the whole family around all day! I hence could really enjoy the news and felt very happy to have won the competition. I am of course honored to contribute to the next chapter of the journal‘s history and look forward to follow its path in the future.

Where did you find inspiration, what were your thought processes?

Thinking of environmental politics as clearly defined by the bounds of the physical planet and its natural processes I started to work with circular shapes, and to add features like axes, crust, layers and atmosphere to it. This was again followed by a reduction and abstraction of the graphic elements – referring to an understanding of the planet beyond its physical state, rendering it rather “discursive“, which also allowed for an inclusion of citations of concepts such as the planetary boundaries, or the doughnut model.

A sampling of the coming years’ covers…

To adequately capture the dynamics of the field and indeed of the planet and its natural systems, I decided not to submit one static cover image, but to instead suggest varying graphics from issue to issue. Together with an annual change of color, and following orbital time, the new cover design is aiming at visualizing the political and systemic transformations we are subject to on the one hand and strongly hope for on the other.

How long did you spend on putting together the entry for Environmental Politics?

As with every idea, also the EP cover design proposal underwent several sketches and trials, before getting final, but luckily things went very smooth this time. I had known the journal with the broad scope it stands for – in a highly dynamic field – and aimed at visualizing these qualities.

Tell us a bit about who you are, about your graphic design skills, and what things you‘ve used them on in the past

I am a freelance art designer running a small studio in Vienna, Austria, which offers collaborative design solutions and visualizations for scientific projects and specific research content. Our approach is defined by a conceptual arts background and an ever growing passion for visual interpretations. Many of my clients are situated within the fields of academia and culture. Aside from our work for academic institutions, we keep also working for artists, designing CDs for music-projects, producing banners and publications for activists, or visual material for a dedicated couple starting an organic sheep farm. I feel very grateful for the range and depth of insights my job offers.

For more information about Atelier Juma Hauser visit www.jumahauser.net 

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