i+s Editor-in-Chief AnnMarie Martin Is Making Connections

Sept. 1, 2015
Editor-in-Chief AnnMarie Martin's September letter

Just like great design does, art in its many forms tells a beautiful story. Perhaps it’s why the two oftentimes work hand in hand, side by side, woven tightly together to present spaces that engage and excite, comfort and soothe, and everything in between.

But sometimes (the best times, IMHO) it goes one step further. The marriage connects us on a very primal level. All prejudices, preconceived notions, and anxieties fade away and we just become people. Imagine that? Just PEOPLE.

In the picture below I am standing next to Amar Bakshi, a true visionary of our time. He’s the creator of Shared_Studios, a multidisciplinary collective that harnesses new technology in physical spaces to give individuals who wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet an opportunity to do so.
I was so impressed with his groundbreaking initiative entitled “Portals” (as was CNN and other major media outlets, for that matter) which I saw when the first was installed in the Lu Magnus Gallery in New York City and connected to another in Tehran this past winter. So I asked him to meet up at the High Line recently to chat further. Since then, Portals have connected thousands of people from around the world by bringing them (virtually) face to face, all via standard shipping containers they enter, developed in conjunction with Spacesmith. But I won’t spoil it all for you. Go read the rest of the story in our Collaborative Column on page 26.

It’s people like Bakshi who make the world a better place—who create art not only for beauty’s sake, but that means something. This month, four Portals “conversations” will be taking place at once, and the response has far surpassed Shared_Studios’ wildest expectations for the project. That’s because Bakshi has managed to develop something that actually resonates in an ever-intensifying global climate: a common denominator.

We’ve discovered over the years that another great equalizer is the practice of hand drawing, which we explore once again in our second annual peak behind the Moleskine of a handful of designers’ sketchbooks on page 56. For many of you, it provides an authenticity that can’t be matched by digital media, which is why it has stood the test of time.

But all of our subjects this month encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to how art relates to your work and life. Just ask photographer Shuli Sadé (page 74) who dives into the dark corners of the mind, then digs her way back out to illustrate to the world, through her installations, the importance and complexities of memory.

We hope the following pages challenge you to expand your view on what constitutes a piece of art, and to hold it to a higher standard—like Sadé and everyone else featured here in the Art of Design issue. Enjoy!

AnnMarie Martin | Editor in Chief
[email protected]

About the Author

AnnMarie Martin | Editor-in-Chief

AnnMarie has been covering the commercial design space since 2005 and has been on the editorial staff at i+s since 2011. Her style and vision has helped the brand evolve into a thought leader in purpose-driven design and cultural movements shaping the way we live and work. She returned to the role of editor in chief at the start of 2023 and her journalism and fiction writing background have helped to craft bi-monthly issues that don’t just report the latest industry news, but tell a cohesive tale of some of the biggest topics facing designers today.

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