When I was starting this new enterprise and struggling to describe the essence of the project, I defaulted to the Hollywood mash-up pitch. “AUGUST is the lovechild of Nest and National Geographic,” I would tell friends. Nest, of course, is the late-’90s brainchild of Joe Holzman—the cult interiors magazine that broke the mold for all interiors magazines to come. Each issue was a revelation and a master class in rule-breaking, from what to show to how to show it, often in dramatic forms that included die-cuts and scalloped pages featuring the collage-like residences of idiosyncratic personalities. The rash of niche publications on newsstands today (or at least, the good ones) all owe a debt to Nest. Then there’s National Geographic, which needs no introduction or context; it has been the stable of every decent dentist’s office and home den since I was growing up. What is influential about Nat Geo is that they didn’t show “new” things, but rather old stuff (much of it very old) that you hadn’t known existed before, and which after reading, changed your world entirely.
It is this sense of discovery, excitement, and rule-breaking that has informed the shape of AUGUST. I hope each issue, each story, will be a discovery, capturing a sense of wonderment that is often missing in our media-saturated lives—a sense of experiencing something for the first time. The best of design, and all of good travel, is about encounters rather than things. I hope that in combining my two favorite obsessions, this journal may impart a shared experience with personal meaning.
Travel, as they say, is not only about the destination, but the journey itself. I add to that by saying that it is also about the travel companions. I have been lucky on this first journey to have many friends both old and new as fellow travelers. My deepest thanks to the many talented writers, photographers, and minds who have contributed their time and efforts to this issue. I hope this kind of sustained deep dive will be both exhilarating and transformative for readers and travelers.
A Journal of Travel + Design
Editor in Chief: Dung Ngo
Issue 01: Milan
Milan Guest Editor: Noemi Bonazzi
Milan Guest Photographer: Adrian Gaut
Creative Direction: MEMO NY
Design: Brendan McAuliffe & Douglas Riccardi
Articles Editor: Aileen Kwun
Editorial Adviser: Alix Browne