No one loves ink on paper more than I do. It’s the reason I became a writer in the first place. The great thing about journalism versus, say, the fiction-writing profession is you get to see the ink on paper you’ve created even more frequently. In my experience, architects (at least those of a certain age) also love ink on paper. They think nothing of spending what little money they have on a beautiful coffee table book about their favorite artist or peer.
Unfortunately, the ink on paper industry is under siege. You may have noticed that both the number and size of pages in this magazine have contracted substantially since the go-go years. I think all of us who love magazines, newspapers, and books feel the dimming of this light acutely. But we have to take courage in the knowledge that while the medium is changing, the message will continue.
Our culture’s insatiable hunger for information continues unabated—in fact, I believe it’s growing. If you’ve noticed only the thickness of residential architect, then you may have missed all of the other initiatives that have consumed our energy and attention in the past few years. Our annual Reinvention Symposium has a strong showing every year, with many repeat attendees. This year, Dec. 6–8, we’ll be in New Orleans.
And not so long ago, the staff of ra took the reins of those e-newsletters that appear biweekly in your e-mail inbox, to better target your concerns and interests.
If you’ve clicked through any of the links in the most recent e-newsletters then you’ve discovered our latest and, perhaps, greatest effort: a redesign of our website, www.residentialarchitect.com. Boy, was this long overdue and sorely needed! We accomplished not only a redesign, but a complete reinvention (to use one of our favorite words) of the site.
We’ve organized the top-line navigation around the core topics we’ve always explored in the magazine—profiles of residential architects, residential projects, products, practice issues, and news and happenings relevant to the design community. We also have a dedicated place to find special projects—our Architects’ Choice guide to products, the winning projects of our Design Awards, our Leadership Award winners, and coverage of our Reinvention Symposium.
But I think the coolest feature of the new site is the ability to browse architects by location and specialty, and projects by type and location. You also can peruse products we’ve covered by category.
These are steps forward in our goal to not only better serve you, but to act as a conduit between you and your potential clients as well. Our magazine goes only to residential architects in North America, sometimes falling into the hands of the laypublic in architects’ waiting areas and conference rooms. But our website is open to everyone—architects and would-be clients all over the globe.
For the first time anywhere, we have the beginnings of a curated, national collection of profiles of residential architects and their work. And our mission of spreading the word about the value and abilities of residential architects moves ahead at cyber speed.
Our print edition will continue and I hope, when the market comes back, will grow again. Our mission is best executed on all communications fronts. Maybe someday as an iPad app, sent right to your lap.
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