Architecture Minnesota
The Magazine of AIA Minnesota

The Magazine of AIA Minnesota
Inspiration, Past & Present
Sep - October 2008
Vol. 35 No. 4
Editor's Note

Threshold Energy

Have you ever, after reading an article in Architecture Minnesota, wanted to amplify an important element of the story? Or maybe you wanted to share a perspective that we altogether missed? Built-environment issues and projects are by nature complex, and the writers and I are not always able to paint a full picture in 500 or 1,000 words. What our reporting and commentary would most benefit from is hearing from you, our readers. Many of you, after all, are deeply engaged in these issues as architects, decision makers, and citizens.

Fortunately, we now have a new channel (actually, a rejuvenated one) through which you can add your voice to the mix. The American Institute of Architects Minnesota, the publisher of this magazine, is re-launching its blog, now called Threshold (aia-mn.blogspot.com), with the help of green architect John Dwyer, AIA, and a small cast of regular contributors. Dwyer, a principal with Shelter Architecture, aims to grow Threshold with tie-ins to Architecture Minnesota content (read on for more details), weekly built-environment news and opinions, and informal project features.

I’m especially excited to have an additional outlet for the magazine that’s far more nimble than the magazine itself. Those of you unfamiliar with magazine production may be surprised to learn that I finalize content for each issue roughly five months before it hits newsstands, allowing two months for design development. The advantage of this lengthy schedule is that we have time to assemble a final product that is well illustrated, designed, and written (at least we strive for that). The downside, of course, is that we’re unable to address architecture-related news right as it unfolds. It goes without saying that John Dwyer and his fellow bloggers give us much needed agility in this area.

Blogs can also have a pleasingly informal writing style. Here in the Twin Cities, Todd Melby’s informative Building Minnesota (buildingminnesota.blogspot.com) has that friendly, engaging tone, as does Architecture Minnesota scribe Adam Arvidson’s Treeline Travelogue (www.treeline.biz/blog.php), which eyes the broader world of design. (Glenn Gordon, who wrote the cover story for this issue, is something of an exception to the rule of Minnesota Nice. His salty commentary on art and architecture for The Thousandth Word at www.rakemag.com is sometimes irreverent but always entertaining.) As you’ll see, Threshold shares this informal style and will often link to other design-oriented sites in Minnesota and beyond.

To get a taste of how we’re bridging the magazine and the blog, check out the new feature on this page. At the Threshold highlights the magazine topic (or topics) currently being discussed on the blog and the names of the knowledgeable observers who started the thread. First up is Frank Edgerton Martin’s Conundra column on Minneapolis’ Peavey Plaza, a heralded and maligned urban space whose preservation is far from guaranteed. It’s a particularly fitting first article for the blog because Martin calls for a “conversation in which contending parties don’t just throw out abstractions from their own language worlds . . . We should instead seek to bridge our cultural outlooks by visiting Peavey . . . together.” In that spirit, we invite you to come join the conversation.

At the Threshold
A quick guide to Architecture Minnesota discussion on Threshold, the AIA Minnesota blog

Endangered Peavey Plaza (page 21) in downtown Minneapolis should be the focus of a respectful, detailed conversation between preservationists and those who wish to alter it, writes Frank Edgerton Martin. To see that conversation unfolding between Martin, landscape architect Jean Garbarini, and others, and to add your own thoughts, visit aia-mn.blogspot.com.

Christopher Hudson
Editor
Architecture Minnesota

hudson@aia-mn.org