A collaboration between ARCHITECT and Bruce Mau Design (BMD), The Next Normal evolved through countless e-mails, conference calls, and Skype discussions between staff at the magazine in Washington, D.C.—especially art directors Aubrey Altmann and Marcy Ryan—and at BMD’s office in Toronto, where Blair Johnsrude took the creative lead on the project, with support from associate creative director Laura Stein and project coordinator Julie Netley.
Altmann and Ryan traveled to Toronto to brainstorm with BMD designers (luckily, Altmann’s passport came through just in time). “The project really caught fire when Aubrey and Marcy came up for a classic BMD creative workshop,” Johnsrude says. “We camped out in our studio library for a day, and used every Post-it note in the studio to fill up the project boards with all kinds of impossibly outrageous ideas.” Many of those were eventually ruled out for practical considerations. “But it was important to put all our psychedelic visions on the table, to discover the essential spirit of what we were trying to do.”
Altmann and Johnsrude were in constant communication as they laid out the pages. When Dutch design firm Catalogtree came on board to create infographics, “it was only natural to hold our three-country meetings on Skype—often at midnight, Dutch time,” Johnsrude remembers. “It was a way to stretch the energy of our brainstorming session through the entire project.”
The Next Normal was edited by Ned Cramer, Katie Gerfen, and Amanda Kolson Hurley. Greig O’Brien calmly directed traffic and made sure the pages got to the printers on time. Lindsey M. Roberts finessed the copy and helped us get our facts straight. Articles, photographs, and illustrations were contributed by a crack team from the U.S. and beyond:
Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, is the chief economist for the American Institute of Architects. He is also the project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Ernest Beck, an ARCHITECT contributing editor, is a New York–based freelance writer. He focuses on architecture, design, innovation, and business.
Catalogtree, an ARCHITECT contributing artist, is a multidisciplinary design studio in the Netherlands founded by Daniel Gross and Joris Maltha. Work includes typography, generative graphic design, and the visualization of quantitative data.
Thomas Fisher, Assoc. AIA, is the dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and an ARCHITECT contributing editor.
Veronique Greenwood is a New York–based writer whose work has appeared in Scientific American and Seed and on TheAtlantic.com.
Cathy Lang Ho is an independent writer and editor in New York and an ARCHITECT contributing editor. She was the founding editor of The Architect’s Newspaper and is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome.
Noah Kalina is an ARCHITECT contributing artist and a photographer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work has appeared in I.D., Nylon, Blender, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications.
Edward Keegan, AIA, is a Chicago architect who complements his independent practice by writing, broadcasting, and teaching on architectural subjects. He is an ARCHITECT editor-at-large.
Mark Lamster is at work on a biography of the late architect Philip Johnson, to be published by Little, Brown. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Diana Lind is the former editor-in-chief of Next American City. She is currently program director of the Geneva-based New Cities Foundation.
Kiel Moe, AIA, is an assistant professor of design and building technologies at Northeastern University. His most recent book is Thermally Active Surfaces in Architecture.
Paul W. Nakazawa, AIA, is a business adviser to firms in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and engineering. He is on the faculty of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Jameson Simpson is an illustrator in California. His illustrations have appeared in such magazines as Popular Science and Wired.
Andrew Yang is the managing director of Roll & Hill, a contemporary lighting company. For the past decade, Yang has been a design journalist, writing for design publications as well as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Mimi Zeiger, an ARCHITECT contributing editor, writes for publications including The New York Times, Dwell, and Wallpaper. Her third book, Micro Green, will be published by Rizzoli in April.