Twenty-five years is a significant milestone no matter the circumstance. And as ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING enters it's 25th year, it seems a particular accomplishment for a magazine dedicated to so specialized a topic—architectural lighting.
Even now, lighting is a relatively young profession, but in November 1986, when AL was founded, the discipline was barely out of its adolescence. To devote a publication to it was a bit risky. There was nothing like it at the time, and it is quite amazing that a quarter-century later, with the changing nature of design practice and the evolution of information delivery, we are still here. The persistence of AL is a testament to the critical role that lighting plays in architectural discourse and to the talented designers and manufacturers whose work has clarified and celebrated wonderful architecture through light.
Reading through the magazine's archive, I am struck by how ahead of its time ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING has been. From its beginning, the publication discussed daylighting, energy issues, and new lighting technologies, and it presented the work of leading designers. The content was prepared by the preeminent voices of the day as well as by future thought leaders of the profession. In fact, many AL readers have “grownup” with the magazine.
Ultimately though, no discussion is really new. The challenges that practitioners and the industry faced and discussed in the early issues of the magazine—how to reconcile code requirements while maintaining the design integrity of a project, how the lighting designer integrates him- or herself into the project team, how the emergence of new lighting technologies steers the industry—are all still issues we deal with today. There is something reassuring in that continuity, which has been at the heart of the magazine's editorial mission since the beginning.
But AL has never rested on its laurels. Over time, the magazine has continued to evolve as it brings its readers the most compelling coverage of architectural lighting topics. Today is no exception. The magazine you hold in your hands looks very different than it did in the past. It's been nearly seven years since the magazine underwent a major overhaul, and on the occasion of this anniversary we thought it appropriate to take the next step.
ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING'S readers are smart, sophisticated, and design savvy. We know that you expect a lot from this publication, and the changes to AL are more than cosmetic. Yes, there is a refreshed logo, but editorially we're thinking about how we can deliver the most dynamic presentation of lighting in a publication that appears in both print and online. We've made a conscientious effort in the following pages to expand upon our core content and present supplemental information that speaks to the issues at hand. That information might take the form of a link to a website, a reference to a video or a book, or a mention of a product. Most importantly, our inclusion of this information reinforces the fact that there are amazing resources at every turn.
AL starts its 25th anniversary year not only with a new design, but with a new series of articles, “From the Archive,” and a new template for our monthly online newsletter, e-notes. In the coming months we will share more about our plans for the year, including our Nov/Dec 2011 anniversary issue and gala celebration.
When you read ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING, I hope it makes you proud to be a member of the lighting community, a community that is engaged, passionate, and curious. AL'S role as a publication is to ask questions, to promote dialogue, and, on occasion, to step forward and encourage the architectural lighting community to move in new directions.
I have no doubt that 2011 will be an extraordinary year for the magazine and the profession. I hope you will join our celebration, and our celebration of light.
- Elizabeth Donoff,