Talking about Backstage Talks

by Steve Watson in July 2023
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Art & design

Backstage Talks is the magazine we delivered to Stack subscribers in May this year. Produced in association with the By Design Conference in Bratislava, it reflects on the conversations that took place away from the main stage, giving a general sense of the event’s tone rather than the presentations that were shared on the main stage.

I think the thing that makes this latest issue so interesting, though, is the range of other influences that shape the magazine. For example there’s the theme, ‘Empathy for Sale’, which informs many of the stories in various ways; there’s the book Meanwhile City, which inspired a long section on urbanism and architecture; and there’s the magazine’s base in Bratislava, which is reflected in a closing section devoted to Czech and Slovak photographers.

In the video below I’m joined by editor-in-chief and art director Martin Jenča in Bratislava, executive editor Zuzana Kvetková in Cambridge, and designer Chloe Scheffe in Seattle, to unpick these various threads. They also reflect on their experiences of making the magazine in three very different parts of the world, under a tight deadline (that last bit was our fault, but our subscribers were very glad to receive the magazine on time!) And Martin reveals that next year’s By Design Conference will be the last one, but I’m pleased to report that it looks like the magazine is going to live on beyond the event that brought it into the world.

If you haven’t already seen a copy of Backstage Talks you’re probably not a Stack subscriber, so sign up today and you can join our independent magazine club, and receive a different magazine surprise every month.


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