“We wrote a story about the rise of the trend forecaster and we had an illustration of somebody holding up a digital camera, and at that time such a gesture was unusual … Now all of that behaviour has been completely normalised. We were partly responsible for that, and it felt that when we were looking back, we were stumbling on a new continent of possibility.”
It was November 2006 when Marcus Fairs founded from his bedroom Dezeen, an all-digital native platform destined to become among the most influential architecture and design webmagazines. Fairs left us on Thursday, June 30, at the age of 54.
Fairs stood out in a movement that was addressing the demand for a new narration of our world during the 2000s, bringing design storytelling into the digital sphere and into the realm of trend forecasting. It was the first turning point in a journalistic experience that had been taking him through the Building Design and later Building editorial board, and the launch of Icon in 2003. With Dezeen, where he was joined by Rupinder Bhogal in 2007, he incrementally expanded a platform that was capable of staying in touch with contemporary issues on all levels, including the most operational, from the opening of the Dezeen Jobs service, to the international positioning expressed by the Dezeen Awards, to the critical positioning about the rhetorics of sustainability and greening, to which he would respond through actions, with the site's transition to a carbon-free operation.
With the platform’s fifteenth anniversary, a cycle of manifestos for the future had begun, on which the news of Fairs’ passing has fallen with the violence of the unexpected, but without leaving any suggestion that the legacy of a project that had begun fifteen years ago could be interrupted.
Opening image: Marcus Fairs. Courtesy Dezeen