944: Deconstructing Vegas

944 Las Vegas October 2009 CoverWhen I was approached — almost last-minute — by the editor of 944 Las Vegas to contribute to this month’s Art & Architecture issue of the monthly lifestyle magazine, I was genuinely excited about the assignment, as those two subjects are among my favorite. The plan was to profile four or five emerging architects and designers and get a dialog going about their reasons for practicing in Vegas, their thoughts on architectural design here, etc.

As time was limited — I had three days to contact all four subjects, conduct interviews and turn in the story — I developed a standard set of questions to ask each person, and gathered the responses via e-mail. When I started putting the story together, I wanted to make it read like a round table discussion, as if the five of us were sitting in a room, talking about one topic at a time. I wrote a 250-word intro giving a little background on the state of development in Sin City, and then wove together the edited responses into a vague narrative. Nothing so complex as the oral history of Maryland Parkway from a few years ago, but something along those lines.

Well, the story, “Deconstructing Vegas,” is now available for public consumption, starting on page 75 of the October issue, or easily found by clicking here. And … it’s not exactly what I turned in. The interviews were split back to one person at a time, rearranged to one-page mini-profiles of each subject. The intro copy was killed. I understand why (I’ve had to make similar editorial decisions for aesthetic reasons), and it still looks great, as the story is enhanced with terrific portraits shot by my good pal Ryan Reason. But I could have saved myself an extra hour or two not carefully piecing together the interviews and just leaving them sort-of as-is. Ah, such is the life of a freelance knucklehead.

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