In creating this, the twelfth edition of ISSUE, our editorial team spent a great deal of time discussing the intent of the publication. We remain curious about what roles both the process and product of ISSUE truly have for fellow students, our faculty, and the broader design community. What is the purpose of this or any other yearly anthology? Why do we take the time to collect imagery, gather narratives, and reflect? What does this book represent about the culture of our school, either tangible or intangible? And how do we archive a year of thought and work in a way that is both celebratory and critical?
ISSUE: 012, as always, seeks to catalog some of the most accomplished visual representation coming out of our school, but with this year’s edition we also hope to focus on the values that drive us. What is it that motivates us during those sleepless nights in studio? After reviewing all the submissions and spending many of our own late nights discussing the patterns of thought behind the work, we structured this anthology in five chapters—each one focusing on a value that repeatedly surfaced in our review of student work. This is one small contribution in a much broader discussion of what matters—and, perhaps, what should matter—in the work here at the University of Texas School of Architecture, as well as in the design community at large.
While developing ISSUE, conversations with professors and peers frequently arrived at the question of pluralism. For better or worse, we have come to the discipline of architecture—and more specifically architectural education at the University of Texas at Austin—at a time of plurality. While the breadth of disciplines, thought, and work is inspiring, we nevertheless found ourselves seeking threads to unite us, hunting for a sense of identity. If our ambition as an institution is to excel at a breadth of interdisciplinary work, then we hope that this publication serves as both a tool for collaboration and a measure of successful cross-pollination. It was a great privilege to spend the year striving to this end with so many of our dedicated peers and mentors. As with all great learning processes, it was both joyful and difficult. We hope you enjoy as much as we have taking the opportunity to look back, reflect and begin dreaming for the year to come.