Azure turns 35 this year, and we just marked the milestone by producing a special anniversary issue, out now, composed almost exclusively of interviews with some of our favourite architects and designers, many of them focused on the humanity and collegiality expressed through their work. It is somewhat ironic, then, that our collective humanity should now seem so imperilled by the global coronavirus pandemic, which is fuelled by person-to-person contact. Culturally and professionally, architects and designers have long relied on such interaction — with their clients, with their colleagues and peers — to carry out their work. To retreat into isolation, which is the socially responsible thing to do now, consequently feels strange, like a dereliction of duty, the antithesis of the collaboration and community that powers good design.
If there’s one thing that Azure has learned over the past three and a half decades, however, it’s that architects and designers are as hopeful as they are creative. The very act of designing something is an optimistic one, propelled by the desire for positive change. It is this innate hopefulness that will get you and all of us through the isolation and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months. It may be a cliché to point out that crises often foster innovation, but that is true, too: Retreat can also mean finding refuge or sanctuary, so we might also consider this period of enforced semi-solitude as a refuge for creativity and a haven for exploring new territories amid a growing set of challenges.
As the global situation continues to develop, please know that Azure will be here for you, providing ongoing COVID-19 news as it pertains to our community and continuing to showcase the very best of your work. Since 1985, we’ve actively strived to foster a sense of professional connectedness. Those bonds, now spanning the globe, may feel strained at the moment, but they’re resilient. And they’ll certainly endure.
Be safe and stay strong,
Danny Sinopoli, Editor
Even in these uncertain times, the design world’s humanity will endure.