Telesis Journal Announces 2023 Call for Submissions on Theme “The Essence” 

2023 Call For Submissions 

Telesis is the student-led journal at the University of Oklahoma Gibbs College of Architecture. Following its last volume, “Adaptive Practice” (Vol. V), the Telesis team is considering the theme of “The Essence” in its forthcoming volume (Vol. VI). We invite you to contribute your work–design proposals, essays, stories, poetry, art or other media–to this exciting publication until Monday, November 27, 2023. Contributors may be students, faculty, professionals, or community members from inside and outside the University of Oklahoma. 

About “The Essence” 

In a constantly changing world of amenities, grandiosity, consumerism and the overwhelming impact of social media, the upcoming volume of Telesis embarks on a profound journey to rediscover “The Essence” within our roles as designers. 

Over time, the intrinsic significance inherent in our creative pursuits has diminished, making it imperative to confront this erosion. We need to refocus our architectural and spatial work on the essential core of forms, objects, nuances and the profound essences they embody. In this journey, we set forth a fundamental goal: to recognize that our built environment reflects the Earth’s vitality; we must acknowledge it as a living entity rather than a lifeless structure. This pivotal concept becomes the foremost focus of our exploration. 

This call invites submissions that delve into the essence of “being” and that guide us toward discovering our intrinsic essence. How can design be a means for self-expression within the tangible and material realm? Moreover, we wonder what “the essence” truly symbolizes and how it impacts our roles as designers. How might an understanding of our essence reshape design thinking processes and our work at large?  

In today’s world, our attention is monopolized by the virtual domain and social media. How can we be encouraged to look away from our screens, ignore the digital sphere and engage with the physical world? What might motivate individuals to immerse themselves in tangible, spatial experiences? Finally, to what extent has a new essence emerged that straddles the physical and virtual peripheries? 

Scale and Scope 

Telesis Vol. VI, “The Essence,” is open to anyone and everyone interested in sharing their work and ideas. We invite you to contemplate how the built environment shapes and defines our daily lives and to explore the ways in which it mirrors the collective identity of society. “The Essence” can be described as many things. Some see it as an identity; others see it as a piece of something whole. One might even see it as a source of power. What does “The Essence” mean to you? What is your essence? 

We encourage you to submit projects, essays, stories, design proposals, and other art forms, anything you believe captures “The Essence.” As in previous volumes of Telesis, our goal is to compile a collection of works to inspire creative thinking and ignite a sense of passion around the captivating and profound theme of “The Essence.” 

Join us in this transformative journey as we delve deep into the core of the design process and our existence. 

Submission Types

  • The file size can be no larger than 10MB and the file type should be either a JPG, PNG, PDF and/or the file type specified by the specific submission.  
  • All unoriginal works MUST be cited.  
  • Every contributor must attach a quote narrating their interpretation of “The Essence.” The quote must be 20-50 words. Every submission must have a title. 
  • File name convention: Last Name_First Name_Type of Submission  
  • (eg. Scott_Michael_Drawing). 


You are invited to submit a drawing that embodies the theme of “The Essence.” 

  • Drawings should be submitted as jpeg, png, or pdf file. 
  • Drawings can be in any media format (digital/ handmade /hybrid). 
  • Please provide high quality scans of drawings (300 dpi minimum).  
  • If possible, please post-process and color-correct scans. 
  • Provide a 100-word statement describing the project and/or the process (for selection purposes). 

Photo collage 

You are invited to graphically compose a series of original photos in collage format. 

  • The collage must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. 
  • Collages can be in any media format (digital/ handmade /hybrid).  
  • If possible, please post-process and color-correct scans. 
  • Provide a 100-word statement describing the project and/or the process (for selection purposes). 

Design project 

You are invited to feature a design project of your own that promotes or identifies with this notion of “Adaptive Practice.” The project should be oriented toward the “Adaptive Practice” theme. Users are encouraged to rethink or rework an existing project (or an aspect of it, such as a diagram, drawing, rendering, or other) to align with this theme. 

  • Submit up to 4 high-resolution images, with a proposed graphic layout that fits on a 8.25″ x 16.50″ double-page spread or a single 8.25″x8.25″ page. 
  • Please include a 100 word narrative expressing the relationship between the design concept and the “Adaptive Practice” theme. 


You are invited to create a manifesto of your own utopian/dystopian vision of “The Essence” as designers. 

  • The manifesto must include between 5 and 15 points describing your vision 
  • The manifesto must be between 500-800 words 

Additionally, you may submit an image or drawing of your own making to visually represent the manifesto. These must be high-resolution. The dimensions and positioning of this representation are open to negotiation. 


You are invited to submit an article that encompasses the idea of “The Essence” in the design world. Articles may be theoretical, analytical, critical or historical. Participants are encouraged to explore a range of topics, as Telesis believes that architecture is everything. 

  • All submissions should be between 500-3000 words. 
  • If possible, submit images that relate to the text. These must be high-resolution, and the size/positioning is open to suggestions. 

Creative Writing 

You are invited to contribute a creative composition on the topic of “The Essence.” This can be a poem, short story, song or other creative composition that is not an article. The narrative could explore an architectonic dystopia/utopia. 

  • All creative writing submissions should have a maximum of 1000 words. 

Contextualizing your essence 

You are invited to submit a proposal for the adaptation/transformation/re-imagination of a place that you identify with. The format for this re-imagination is open to the contributor, but the media format used should portray a strong and provocative solution to the space’s current state. This re-imagination can be submitted in any form (a drawing, collage, poem, story or other format). Please refer to the submission details specific to your chosen format. 

Other ideas? 

If you have another idea not listed above, send it in to We would like to hear more about it. 


To submit, please send an email to  by November 27, 2023, at 12:00PM, with the following required information: 

  • A signed author agreement (click here to download), allowing the University the right to publish your work in person and online (don’t worry–you retain authorship!)
  • A file or files representing your submission. 


  • Monday, November 27, 2023, by 12:00PM – Deadline for Call for Submission 
  • Monday, January 15, 2024 – Potential contributors will be notified of selection decisions. 
  • Friday, January 19, 2024 – Deadline for revised contributions if your submission is accepted. 

Contact Us 

If you have any questions about the submissions or the format, please email: or Felipe Flores (

Follow us

Instagram: @telesisou 

Telesis is edited by students enrolled in the Fall 2023 course: “Telesis: The Student Journal” (ARCH 4970/ARCH 5970). Telesis is advised by Dr. Angela Person (, and Ph.D. student Felipe Flores (

Featured Image: Created by Abbey Fradette, OU Division of Architecture.