how time flies, but without necessarily the same consequence. that a year can slip by unnoticed is hardly unfamiliar to anyone. It is the amount accomplished in that period that is not always consistent. Some years yield more than others, justifying in their productivity the swift, selfish flight of time. Such is the year I have been with A|L: the magazine has accomplished much, and for this I thank our readers and advertisers, and of course, A|L's dedicated staff.
In a short twelve months, we have logged a number of accomplishments and milestones. Most obviously, we redesigned the magazine, with a response from our readers and advertisers that I find continuously revitalizing-the power bar that keeps us going long after the day should have ended. Elizabeth and I produced 25 percent more stories during the first half of 2004, as compared to the same period a year ago, and the number of pages dedicated to editorial content is up almost 10 percent over last year for the same timeframe. We also redesigned our website, which launched in February, and has since been populated every two days on average with new web-specific content-from products and news stories to project-related dividends like movies, detail drawings, and bonus images. Consequently, our traffic has increased more than 20 percent over the same period a year ago.
Our first A|L Light and Architecture Design Awards, published last month in the July/August issue, came off with better-than-expected results. The submitted projects represented exactly what we had hoped for, including a breadth of project types from around the country as well as from Canada and Mexico. What is more, many were submitted by architects who clearly understand the value of good lighting design, proof that we are achieving the publication's goal: to promote quality lighting as an integral part of the aesthetics and function of architecture.
A|L has several new endeavors already on the boards for 2005. A residential supplement to our standard issue will launch in November/December 2004 and appear again next summe, and an LED supplement is planned for the spring.
It seems we are not alone in recording a winning year so far. In his piece 'Looking into the Crystal Ball' (page 41), contributor Craig DiLouie interviews several industry executives who have a bullish outlook on the present and future. Juno president and CEO T. Tracy Bilbrough reports, 'We are not hearing a lot of cautiousness from our customers and end market. If there is any type of slowdown ... we respectfully decline to participate.' The five top executives interviewed by DiLouie admit the 2004 elections, the Asian influence on the world economy, and the phenomenon of commoditization could have a powerful-and detrimental-effect on the U.S. lighting market, but nevertheless maintain an upbeat position going forward.
Several project stories in our feature well exemplify the role lighting is playing and will play in defining the successful future of significant architecture (the Seattle Public Library, page 48), of urban spaces (the Hudson River Park, page 58), and of innovative companies (Orange Telecom Offices, page 54.)
But, as tempting as it is to repose and reflect contently on a job well done, we should remember that we are, in general, not yet there-wherever 'there' might be. We may have accomplished what we intended to achieve, but that only brings us to the next level of goals to be set and reached. This is a philosophical program applicable to many situations, to many industries, to many individuals, but it has particular relevance to the lighting discipline and to those in the field. Ours is a young profession still inadequately recognized by the design community, never mind the rest of the population; its capacity for great things has not been fulfilled.
Contributor Jim Benya's article on lighting energy codes is a case in point. Codes are here to stay, but the process by which they are developed and implemented needs work. Likewise, this month's Exchange question, regarding the disturbing and increasing incidence of knockoffs and intellectual property theft in the lighting marketplace, demonstrates that copying will always be hard to control, but the industry must establish a system to ensure fair play in the future. Regarding both, to quote poet Robert Frost, we have miles to go before we sleep.
But we're not tired, we're just getting started.