Last November, as current events and erratic moguls tested the limits of major social platforms, we at New York Review of Architecture started a campaign to bring back our favorite social platform: tables.
The response was overwhelming. Literally, we almost overwhelmed our local post office when we showed up with a cart laden with almost a thousand issues of NYRA. We sent copies to readers who placed them on tables at schools of architecture at UT Austin, MIT, the University of Utah, the Illinois School of Architecture at Urbana-Champaign, Penn State, NJIT, RISD, GSAPP, Sci-Arch, Pratt, U. Michigan, the Harvard GSD, and Loughborough University in Leicestershire. We sent it to tables in offices at the offices of ZGF Architects, Google’s Design Team, Skolnick, Steven Holl Architects, and Cookfox. Issues made it onto tables from the Pallas Gallery in San Francisco to Interference Archive in Brooklyn to the Design Museum in London. Perhaps our favorite was MVRDV, which asked for a packet for their New York themed holiday party.
So we are ready to take this to the next level: We would like to encourage our readers to explore the full functionality of a table. See unlike our other gadgets—watches, phones, computers—that really work best with just one person, many tables are in fact sized such that you can actually share them with others. In fact, a table often works better, surrounded by a group of friends or even strangers.
But do not take our word for it: try it yourself. Convene a pop-up reading club.
Tables: great place for conversation. Or. Reading, to avoid conversation.
Here is how it works:
First, fill out this form.
We will then send you a free packet of NYRA issues to put on your table (or tables).
When you receive the packet, convene a reading club (or! Bring it to one you are a part of already). It could be a group of coworkers, fellow students, a few friends, your room-mate, your crush, maybe just you and your cat. You can read the issue from cover to cover, pick just one essay (this may be wiser) or even a dispatch from SKYLINE or a mini-review from shortcuts, or not read it all, simply using the reading club as an excuse to gather. We will have no idea.
Depending on demand, we may not be able to send issues to everyone who fills out the form. We will also prioritize requests from subscribers over non-subscribers.
If you take a photo of your reading club and send it to us or share it through other, lesser social platforms, that is just pure gravy.