Editor’s Letter

In Praise of Less

In the April issue of ISLAND magazine, we ran an article on the stunning new Brightline train stations, which were designed by Zyscovich Architects. Like the article’s author and photographer, Steven Brooke, it’s fair to say I’m in love with these new stations and what they represent for South Florida. I also hold Brooke’s position that somehow, placing these stations aside, of course, we never received “the future we were promised.” We were promised self-flying hover cars, allowing us to read a book on the way to work. Instead we have I-95, a jammed relic of America’s love affair with the automobile. Instead of a super-efficient highway, it’s become into a metaphorical prison where we waste an inordinate amount of time, and are reduced to counting car fires and accidents to pass the time. We were promised free- to-watch TV programming from a dozen excellent stations, the signals of which were to be beamed wirelessly into our homes. Instead we have 1,200 stations, 1190 of which are tragic, all of which we pay for ––  twice, I might add ––   both by monthly bill as well as through endless streams of commercials. 

I know, I know… I am an old curmudgeon. To stay sane through a life crammed with drop-down menus and endless text streams and a humanity that has tossed conversation out the window, opting instead for earbuds and podcasts… I find myself craving extreme simplicity. Of course that clean, pared-down aesthetic makes perfect sense in South Florida, where it acts to balance sun-drenched swimming pools, impossibly lush landscapes and balmy breezes. 

Maybe less really is more.
The Farnsworth House, located in Plano, Illinois, was designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1951.
Photo: Benjamin Lipsman

Because of that, you’ll often find the principles of minimalism reflected in the pages of ISLAND. In this issue, for example, you’ll find it in our cover story (starting on page 12) unveiling a Harbor Beach home designed by Choeff Levy Fischman. Then, beginning on page 25 you’ll note its reappearance in an article on lighting fixtures called Next to Nothing. Finally, beginning on page 34 you’ll read about a fortuitous collaboration between The Related Group and Arquitectonica that is giving birth to Solemar, soon to rise in Pompano Beach. Enjoy!

John T. O’Connor