The past seven weeks (April 17-June 5) have been unprecedentedly busy. No sooner had the last pages of the April/May issue been sent off to the printer, did I find myself embarking on a schedule unlike any I have ever experienced. During this period, four weeks were spent at conferences and tradeshows taking me from Milan to San Antonio to NewYork to Eindhoven and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Add a smattering of days in between trying to catch up with chores, a week dealing with my move from New York to Washington D.C. coupled with shipping the current June issue you are reading, and I'm sure you will agree a schedule such as this is—well, crazy.
Mind you I'm not complaining. I love to travel, despite the hassle it has become in the post 9/11 world. I dutifully trooped through my quad of travel-related delays during the course of eight flights, and had my person and belongings “searched” more times than I would care for. But I knew that the reward awaiting these inconveniences was the ability to experience new places, attend extraordinary events, and meet amazing people. And as I traveled through an extreme variety of venues, I was reminded time and time again, just how truly global lighting is, not just in its reach, but also in the makeup of its community. I saw American colleagues in Milan, Mexican colleagues in Rotterdam, German colleagues in San Antonio, British colleagues in New York. The importance of attending conferences and tradeshows—the opportunity for communal gathering—should not be underestimated. It enables discussion and exchange to occur at a broader scale, and it is one of the most significant ways I can hear from all of you about the issues that are of concern, projects that are of interest, and where Architectural Lighting magazine fits in to your practice of lighting design.
In this issue which addresses the theme of innovation, it strikes me that what represents real innovation today is not another new fangled gadget, but communication—real one-on-one dialogue where people are sharing the experience of place, activity, and ideas (hopefully) void of interruptions caused by technology (you know those cell phone and Blackberry things). The past seven weeks have been unprecedentedly busy, but they have also been an unprecedented opportunity for me. It is often in the moments running in between meetings or to get to the next seminar that you bump into someone and have the most interesting conversations. “Seeds are planted” so to speak, that will bare great fruit later. My notebooks are filled with the events and ideas of the past weeks, and you can be sure many of them will find their way in some shape or form onto the pages of A|L. For the moment though, I need to pause and communicate with the laundry bag that has been calling for my attention and requesting some quality time.