Contract - March 2010 - (Page 43)

essay: from the past the more things change An authoritative voice in a growing and thriving industry Jennifer Thiele Busch uring its five decades of existence, Contract consistently has covered the practitioners and projects that have defined excellence in commercial interior design in their time (see “Design Retrospective,” page 77), continuously inspiring its readers to raise design standards in their own work. But the magazine also has devoted itself to identifying and dissecting important trends that have informed intelligent design solutions over the years and examining the best business practices of the day that allowed the profession to flourish and thrive. The following essays from our past will give current readers a glimpse (from a vast archive of 50 years’ worth of issues) into how the profession matured and how it addressed the most salient issues of the times. In some cases, the content identified important trends early on, as in former editor Len Corlin’s prophetic article from January 1980, “Astounding Technology Portends Drastic Office Changes in ’80s,” and Duncan Sutherland’s essay from the January 1989 issue, “Is the Office Really Necessary?” Other articles prove the old adage, “The more things change, the more they remain the same,” and reveal how the industry apparently has grappled with the same issues for decades, as in Maurice Mogulescu’s commentary on the distinction between interior designers and interior decorators, “The Contract Design Dilemma” from May 1962, and former editor Roger Yee’s June 1990 editorial titled, “If You Cut Your Fees, Do You Bleed?” Still others show how Contract covered in depth the trends that would have a lasting effect on commercial and institutional design, as in the “Space Planning Symposium” article from July 1963 and an early essay on the study of ergonomics, “Research Reveals Proper Height, Width, Depth of Furniture, from Office Chairs to Library Tables,” by Dr. Adolph Yilo of Volvo. And finally, certain articles, such as June 1970’s “Women Need Feminine Desks,” show that 50 years did not go by without us making some mistakes. Even 40 years ago, the mere suggestion of distinguishing furniture based on gender insulted some of Contract’s readers, as evidenced by the Letters to the Editor the following month. There has been so much valuable content generated in 50 years, and we could not possibly begin to summarize it here. Instead, this random crosssection of material is intended to celebrate our history, as the authoritative voice of the commercial A&D community for the last five decades. D contract march 2010 contract 43

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - March 2010

Contract 3/10
Editor’s Note
Essays from the Past:
The Contract Design Dilemma (May 1962)
Space Planning Symposium (July 1963)
Changes in Workplaces Reflect Changes in Task Structure (June 1970)
Women Need Feminine Desks (June 1970)
Name “Interior Designer” Is a Misnomer Because of Broader Duties (August 1970)
Research Reveals Proper Height, Width, Depth of Furniture, from Office Chairs to Library Tables (September 1970)
Astounding Technology Portends Drastic Office Changes in the ’80s (January 1980)
Is the Office Really Necessary? (January 1989)
If You Cut Your Fee, Do You Bleed? (June 1990)
Design: Retrospective
Essays on the Future:
More Happiness, Less Stuff: By Ray C. Anderson
The Social Aspect of Social Responsibility: By John Cary
Leading in the Global Market: By Ross Donaldson
Technology Trends: By Cathryn Barrett
Inadmissible Evidence: By Michael Berens
Designers Rate: Eight Designers Pick Their Favorite Three Commercial Interiors Products of the Last 50 Years
Ad Index

Contract - March 2010