I Left My Heart in San Francisco

(and NYC, and Chicago, and London, and...)

02/01/2016 By Kadie Yale

There’s something fittingly perfect about having my first editor's letter to you end up in an issue about the concrete jungle. Although I was technically raised in a small rural town surrounded by fields, I’ve always been more of a city girl. In fact, most of my professional life has existed in the hustle and bustle of two of my favorite homes: San Francisco and New York.

As an undergrad, I applied to San Francisco State University in the hopes of becoming the next big American poet, but as I approached the registration desk, I balked and switched to product design. Design has that way about it, doesn’t it? It draws you in, challenges you, and fascinates you every day. You’re willing to make abrupt life-changing decisions for it.

I have to say, San Francisco is the perfect spot for a budding designer. Unlike most of the country, The City (not to be mistaken for NYC “The City,” but we Californian’s know which really holds the title) is constantly reinvented in newness. While other urban centers are built up around their history, San Francisco was built out of the ashes of the 1906 earthquake—a phoenix of a town that keeps reinventing itself. Particularly with The City’s focus on sustainability, it was the ideal lesson on creating for the future.

But I’m someone who is drawn to “who, what, where, why, when, and how.” As much as building for the future is a fascinating and important job, I found myself constantly asking about the past. Parsons the New School for Design’s M.A. program in decorative art history

and theory offered a perfect method for addressing those questions. It was wonderful to immerse myself in a town whose culture is constantly evolving, yet its history—for the most part (RIP Penn Station)—remains intact.

I used to joke that my heart wasn’t only left in San Francisco anymore, since half of it had buried itself in the East Coast, and the only way I’d be as close to whole is to be somewhere in the middle.
Funny enough: Now I am. This job moved me to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is pretty much right smack dab between the two. I’m halfway between the two places I love, and I needed both the hands-on experience I received in San Francisco, and the historical and theoretical training in New York in order to act as the best editor-in-chief I can for you, our readers. I am honored to be given this experience and to be able to bury another piece of my heart into i+s.

Cheers to the New Year, new beginnings, and the new i+s.