Pin Up, 23
In most post-industrial societies, comfort has been thoroughly democratized. Previously undreamed of amenities are made available to large swaths of the population, while a veritable comfort industry provides not just the obvious mattresses, pillows, blankets, cushions, armrests, backrests, and headrests, but also a whole panoply of services, both online and IRL, designed to make our lives less complicated and stressful. Whether it’s air-conditioning, Grindr, or Febreze, they’re all intended to comfort our physical needs. But it’s telling that the term “comfort” — unlike, for example, pleasure or joy — is defined through a negative: a state of freedom from pain, constraint, or inconvenience. Are all the things we’ve become so accustomed to literally and figuratively padding our lives — especially in architecture and design — just short-term remedies for an ongoing contemporary malaise? A sort of Snuggie™ for the soul? The Fall Winter 2017/18 issue of PIN–UP explores the realm between amenity and apathy where comfort operates, but also the apparent paradox of finding comfort in discomfort, whether aesthetically, emotionally, ergonomically, or sensorially. Even a biannual print product like PIN–UP is a challenge to produce in a digital-media age of instant production and gratification. A life of comfort is a privilege, no doubt. But sometimes the greatest luxury lies in the concession thereof.