“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”
THERE IS AN INVISIBLE CURRENT that flows through the universe carrying great ideas and concepts, occasionally sharing one with humanity. We call them epiphanies, but the name is the only hold we have on them. They are elusive. You can’t buy one and you can’t dream one up. Epiphanies come and go as they please. When they happen, they burst forth like intellectual geysers from a dry lake of thought.
We’ve all experienced the phenomenon in some way or another. We agonize over a nagging problem, cranking the handle on the idea box to the accompaniment of tinny, repetitive music, when suddenly a portal opens and a colorful epiphany leaps from an unknown world with a perfect surprise. The cranking part is a prerequisite. You have to do your homework. You have to agonize for a while. The revelation, when it happens, is always fresh and just what is needed.
It happened to me, convincingly, early in my career. I had been commissioned to design a freestanding display to be featured in branch lobbies of a major bank. Rejected sketches piled up for days, yet no approach seemed to resolve the complex design problem. I went to bed at 2:00 a.m. on the day of presentation, resigned to call the client with news of my failure.
Consciousness faded into sleep when a sudden bright flash revealed an image of the perfect solution. The blitz was gone in an instant but a model was hastily created from its ghost, and the design was enthusiastically accepted as genius at the meeting. Others have had similar experiences, although the flash version seems to be rare. Such a jackpot epiphany has never revisited, although pennies do drop from Heaven, always while I’m relaxing after a long struggle.
In a perfect world, or at least in a perfectly organized world, American Bungalow would be waiting in your mailbox on a precisely appointed day. These days publishers around the world scurry frantically to compete with a global web of boundless information—anything you want at the tap of a fingertip. Trying to keep up with technology’s impossible pace, magazines become thin, limp and vacuous. Landfill fodder.
That’s not what you signed up for and it’s not what we want from our careers. American Bungalow’s staff and contributors strive to create a kind of mini-epiphany for readers with every arrival of this magazine. Expect a magazine worth keeping.
Looking forward to hearing from you,