Mid-covid-19, post-Trump we’ve all come crashing into a great ex- istential moment; a vulnerability is rendering our favourite tools-for- coping like irony, and the constant desire for and purchasing of new material things irrelevant, somehow wrong.

But what does it take to overcome the cultural pull of irony? What does it take to say what you mean, and even more poignantly mean what you say. What does it take to get real?

In this issue we look to designers, artists, architects and curators who not only say it as it is, but who seem to be prioritizing what is imme- diate and actual; who seem to shun the irony virus in favour of work that’s informed by more subtlety than narcissism.

Realness isn’t part-time or just-for-public consumption. Realness can’t be compartmentalized. Reality is interconnected, it dares to deny the prevailing way of distinguishing between what’s social, economic and environmental. If Covid-19 has taught us one thing, it’s that everything overlaps and that culture is the glue that holds it all together.

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