Let’s start with an understatement: an extraordinary amount of change has gripped the world over these past few months. There have been numerous additions and subtractions of every type.
Luckily, the design publishing industry is organic in the sense that there is change when necessary, and from that change there is growth.
John Czarnecki is now editor in chief of Contract after more than a decade of commitment from Jennifer Busch. I want to publicly thank Jennifer for her boundless energy, enthusiasm, and the occasional “trivia” side bet.
John will bring a practitioner’s perspective, with experience in architecture and design practice, as well as both magazine and book publishing. He also has collaborated with many architects and interior designers on published books covering layers of design and architecture. He just began as editor in chief as this issue went to press. Look for his first issue and editorial next month. We all are looking forward to his learned insight.
There is another thank you that must be acknowledged. For two months managing editor Danine Alati has labored tirelessly as interim editor to create the May and June issues. She is the epitome of a strong collaborator—grace and intelligence under pressure.
There is a realism about change that is omnipresent. While the idealism that is ingrained in every new design graduate never should be dismissed, and the late hours of sketching and drawing on computer has inspired design careers and amazing projects, design must be realistic.
It must be realistic for the sake of the planet, as footprints and material selections need to be smarter. Leaner budgets naturally follow, which demand that we constantly investigate the attractive yet socially responsible solutions.
The Contract brand—which includes, among others, The Interiors Awards, Best of NeoCon®, and Contractdesign.com —has a unique niche in all of this practical rambling: We are the only brand in the history of design publishing that, for more than 50 years, has created content exclusively for the commercial design professional—beautiful, warm, stunning, and realistic environments that we trust always inspire you and your clients.
Finally, I would like to refer to a line from a good friend, John Cary. Former executive director of Public Architecture, Cary is president & CEO of Next American City magazine and is in New York continuing his advocacy for socially responsible design. He began his recent commencement address to the University of California Berkeley College of Environmental Design with this: “I am going to challenge you to remember two things you already know: The first is where you came from. And the second is why you got into design in the first place.”
Both Contract’s new editor in chief John Czarnecki and I want you to also keep those two important things in mind in this time of change. For John Cary, his success—and ability to motivate and inspire others—clearly is a result of a deep desire to know himself and pursue what he loves. Passion meets purpose, in a nutshell. For me, I know a thing or two about myself, as well. Mostly, however, I know that I love the power of good design.
Design and life are changing faster than a fraction of a nanosecond. There is an awakening economy. Create your new reality now. Let us know how we can help. Email John Czarnecki at email@example.com.