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Nest Magazine Closes

Nest, the interior design world’s most eccentric magazine is to cease publication after its fall 2004 issue. During its seven year run, Nest won two National Magazine awards and it had a cult-like readership. Architect Robert Venturi, novelist John Banville, photographer Nan Goldin and other prominent arts figures contributed to it. But despite Nest’s striking design and its high profile talent, the magazine reportedly was a money hemorrhaging formula. It primarily owed its survival to the financial resources of its visionary publisher and editor-in-chief, Joseph Holtzman

Nest distinguished itself by exploring interiors that were rarely visited by other design magazines; there were feature articles on topics ranging from a prominent Indian undertaker’s home to Inuit igloos. And aside from the high quality paper stock and high production values, the lavishly illustrated magazine had a highly unpredictable aesthetic. Text was encapsulated in circular graphics or surrounded by flowery wallpaper-like borders. Nest even eschewed a standard three-dimensional format: different issues came in different shapes, some had decorative holes or shapes punched through them.

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Many while lauding Nest’s creativity, link the magazine’s demise to its defiant stance towards the status quo. “For me Nest had the sole distinction of turning the home into a literary text, says Shoshana Berger, editor of ReadyMade, a hip new design magazine, “it was the only interior magazine I know of that took real risks---it didn’t have to be a slave to the market place.” Says Michela Abrams, the publisher of Dwell Magazine, “Nest was clearly the pet project of an extremely creative person who put a great deal into it--that doesn’t necessarily equate to a commercially viable magazine.”

However despite the magazine’s relatively poor commercial prospects, Nest’s literary editor, Matthew Stadler, insists that real reason for ending publication is that the magazine has run its course. “We were interested in stopping before it became boring,” says Stadler, “It wasn’t the lack of profit that killed it, it was an aesthetic choice--- Joseph Holtzman funded the magazine all the way through, and if it continued to be interesting, he would have happily funded it forever.”

Alex Ulam

 

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