Bypass Editors

Reflecting on Our First Year and What’s to Come

It is 8:00pm. The night before launch.

We, the editors of bypass, are once again cramped in the digital confines of an emergency zoom meeting. Summer bliss is fading and we’re hit with the reality of preparing the first issue of a highly anticipated year. Anticipating a sense of normality, anticipating collapse, anticipating breaking free.

One year ago, a non-profit, independent journal named bypass was established. The new kid on the block found themself warmly welcomed into an eclectic neighborhood. You helped us find our feet in this strange new environment. So before we lose ourselves in introspection, we just want to say we appreciate you all. Thank you!

One year later, we have succeeded at dipping our toes into the sizzling pot of discourse. We have experienced much; the journey being both incredibly rewarding, yet extremely challenging. Along the way, our little journal has found many new friends, including a talkative member to join the traveling party.

It is now 10:41pm. Such is the luxury, as budding architects still rich in energy, that allows us to take gambles and risks. We’re privileged in being unbounded by clientele and expectations, empowered by academia’s sense of agency to speculate, dream big, and voice our truths.

But we’ve discovered that our little neighborhood adventure is not without its limitations. The destination we dreamed of is out of reach. There is a one-sided feeling to publishing, a sense that people may be engaging with our media, but not the discourse. Finding voices that inspire a critical examination of architecture takes a lot of effort and encouragement. Even then, there is little to spare.

We understand the pain. It’s taken us hours to string together the paragraph you’ve just read.

What is holding us back? Are we constrained by the format in which we deliver these voices? Or by our swift monthly turnover? Do we need to surrender to the reality of how the world consumes information today? Archi-culture enthusiasts are well aware of @danklloydwright’s influence over the discourse metaverse. Does provocation thrive on brazen, unhinged humour? If so, we may as well consider the benefits of cross-pollinating.

We are not afraid to deconstruct these things, for there is no fear in uncertainty. Bypass was conceived as an experiment that questions the integrity of our discipline - one that is more earnest and uplifting. We’re in the midst of considering future bypasses, freeing ourselves from the current structure. We’ll see how it works, and not take it too seriously. The essence of an experiment is in how you move forward. We might even pick up more friends for our traveling party.

bypass may hang alongside its diverse community of academic, pop-media, and institutional friends. Perhaps the cross-dialogue between these different ideas, opinions, and practices is where the discourse starts. So, the year ahead is only just beginning. We’re still in it for the same reasons we started. The name bypass* suggests a detour, an alternative option for architectural discourse.

* Originally was going to be named Twig (a branch of Log) ;)

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