40 and Counting

This issue marks Sources for Design’s 40th issue. Here’s a look back to the beginning.

By Nora Burba Trulsson

To borrow one of those ubiquitous birthday tropes, lordy, lordy look who’s 40. For us at Sources For Design, we’re not measuring birthdays or years. Rather, this is our 40th issue—a milestone in the publishing business, be it online or in print.

Issue 1 came out in September 2016, featuring seven Design Icons: Marlene Imirzian for architecture, Sharon Fannin for interior design, Greg Trutza for landscape architecture, Salcito Custom Homes for builder, the renovated Wigwam resort for project, photographer Dino Tonn for service and Villagio Tile & Stone for product. Since then we have honored scores of Arizona design professionals and businesses with the Design Icon designation, awarded at dozens of in-person events at showrooms and locations around the Valley, each attended by hundreds of supporters.

Sources For Design’s roots, however, go back to the 1990s—1995, in fact, when the late Naomi Anderson and I sat around her dining room table in Phoenix and came up with Sources & Design (note the ampersand), a quarterly publication for the design trade. Our initial mission statement? The first issue, Fall 1995, summarized the purpose. “Sources & Design is dedicated to providing continuing product education for interior designers, architects, home builders and specifiers in the Southwest.”

With Naomi as publisher, myself as editor, Barbara Glynn Baxter as art director and Deborah Paddison as contributing editor, our slim first issue (print only at first) featured the Dean-Warren showroom on the cover and profiled a custom furniture maker, the opening of the new design center on 68th Street in Scottsdale and other topics. Soon, though, we began covering projects by design professionals all over the Southwest and the Rocky Mountain states, writing about green design, offering business news, a calendar and still focusing on new products and services.But the Recession took its toll, and Sources & Design ceased publishing in 2012. Enter interior designer Lawrence Lake, who resurrected the publication—this time as Sources for Design and online—and became its publisher and editor, choosing to focus on Arizona’s design/build community, honoring individuals and businesses who have made their mark on our state’s built landscape. I came on in 2018 as editor-at-large. The rest, shall we say, is history.

This 40th issue, which emphasizes modern design, has a few full-circle moments. The launch party for Issue 1 back in 2016, in which we honored those seven Design Icons, was held at Design Within Reach’s then-new two-story showroom at Scottsdale Quarter, where guests mingled past Knoll’s 1966 outdoor dining tables, Womb chairs, Barcelona chaises and other pieces of classic furniture. In this issue, Design Within Reach (DWR) is our Product Icon. Michael P. Johnson is our Architect Icon in this issue. He was our guest editor who curated the icons for our first modern issue (Issue 5), in which Johnson chose Al Beadle for architecture, Elizabeth Rosensteel for interior design, Chris Winters for landscape architecture, Richard Fairbourn for builder, Arcosanti for project, Knoll for product and lighting designer Claudia Kappl-Joy for services.This issue, then, is a landmark for Sources for Design. We hope for 40 more, as we continue to cover the best in Arizona design.