Our magazine rack fills with a dozen or so magazines sent unsolicited to our office each month. Free copies are sent to architects presumably because they may be influenced by advertisements for doors and windows. The granddaddy of the magazines is Architectural Record, which comes with my AIA membership. This weighty periodical often focuses each issue on a building type such as libraries in January. Their annual Record Homes edition is a keeper. By email, AIA sends its own newsletter, plus World Architecture News to keep me informed about the latest skyscraper in Dubai.
Our shelves hold a few titles that only an architect could love, such as Metal Architecture. The pages of most periodicals are flipped only once, but a few are picked up repeatedly. Residential Architect always has interesting reviews of well designed homes and housing across the country. California Home & Design was clipped more than any other for a contemporary remodel we are doing in Pebble Beach. Dwell is the most stimulating magazine blatantly promoting modern residential design. Shockingly, the editors intentionally insert real people into their photographs. We actually pay for this one. I do not subscribe to Architectural Digest, but I try to catch up at my dentist’s office. At home, I regularly scan Valerie’s copies of Sunset and Better Homes and Gardens.
The green movement has spawned a slew of new publications. James likes GreenSource, EcoStructure, and Environmental Design & Construction and is sure to recycle them after they are read. Our magazines could end up as your next to-go cup, paper napkin, or wall insulation. He also peruses a wide range of RSS feeds (online magazines and blogs like this one) on topics from international design trends to D.I.Y. tech.
The editors know that I just flip through the photographs and read only a fraction of the articles. I save about half of these publications, thinking that if I ever design a concert hall in Spain, a particular photograph may prove to be inspirational. It is probably time to purge the magazine collection again.