INHABITAT: Can you tell us a little about Dwell’s Light & Energy issue and what kind of content readers can expect when they pick it up on newsstands this month?
AMANDA: I enjoy issue themes that give the editors a lot of creative leeway, and notions of light and energy can certainly be interpreted in myriad ways. For this issue we have a little bit of everything—smart residences, new lighting products, thoughtful conversations, and a couple history lessons thrown in for good measure. There’s a great interview about sustainability with Bill McDonough penned by Alexis Madrigal, in addition to a fun look at using fire at home to cook, heat and illuminate. Another favorite is a one-page piece on the Morgan Library—not many people realize that J.P. Morgan’s residence was the first successfully wired home in New York, and that it was even wired by Thomas Edison himself! When we were still in the very early stages of planning the issue, I was reading Jill Jonnes’ amazing book “Empires of Light” and in it there’s a great passage about Morgan and Edison’s relationship. Once I read that, I took a little detour to the actual museum and discovered that the library was retrofitted with LED bulbs in 2010. This is something that’s really exciting for me—uncovering different ways to define what “modern” means in the context of design and architecture. Few people would call a turn-of-the-century brownstone ‘modern’ today, yet when it was built it was the most modern home the country had ever seen.
INHABITAT: This will be Dwell’s first ever Light & Energy issue. What was the inspiration to launch this?
AMANDA: We did a “Light” issue in 2009 that was really well received, so we wanted to build on the idea to integrate a larger conversation about energy.