Dwell (magazine)

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CategoriesArchitecture and Design
PublisherDwell Media LLC
Total circulation
First issueOctober 2000
Based inSan Francisco, CA and New York, NY

Dwell is a design and technology brand. It was launched with a magazine in September 2000[1] to bridge the gap between design professionals and enthusiasts by CEO Lara Hedberg Deam with architecture and design critic Karrie Jacobs as its Editor-in-Chief. In August 2002 Jacobs left the magazine and was replaced by Senior Editor Allison Arieff. After Arieff, Sam Grawe held the position from 2006 - 2011, followed by Amanda Dameron from 2011 - 2017.

In summer 2016, the brand relaunched its digital destination as a community publishing platform, where users can create and share their own design content.[2]

In late 2016, the brand announced Modern by Dwell Magazine, a collection of over 200 products for Target.[3] Designed by Dwell co-creative directors of product design Chris Deam and Nick Dine, the collection includes both furniture and decor pieces and will launch on December 27, 2016.[4][5][6][7]

Dwell magazine is published 6 times a year by Dwell Life, LLC. According to the ProCirc, by the close of 2017 the magazine's circulation was 250,000.


  • April 2005 National Magazine Award for General Excellence in the 100,000-to-250,000 circulation category.[8]
  • March 2006 Adweek 2006 Creative Team of the Year award to creative director Claudia Bruno and photo editor Kate Stone[9]

In popular culture[edit]

The Tumblr blog "Unhappy Hipsters", which launched in 2010, pairs photos from Dwell with humorous captions that mock the ascetic lifestyle suggested by some of the photos. The blog achieved significant popularity at the time, and its creators wrote a spinoff book in 2011, It's Lonely in the Modern World.[10] The magazine was also mentioned in the 2012 episode "Tallahassee" of The Office. On December 9, 2012, Dwell appeared in The Simpsons episode "The Day the Earth Stood Cool", in which Springfield undergoes a modern architectural renaissance with the arrival of a cool couple who move in next door to Homer, Marge, and company after finding the house has “Neutra bones.”

Dwell Home Design Invitational[edit]

In January 2003, Dwell magazine invited 16 architects to participate in the Dwell Home Design Invitational, an international competition to design a modern prefab home for $200,000. The competition was conceived by Allison Arieff, after she published a book on prefab homes in 2002, titled "Prefab." After reading Arieff's book, an entrepreneur in North Carolina, Nathan Wieler, contacted Arieff to inquire about how he and his fiancée, Ingrid Tung, could purchase a modern prefab home. Arieff's conversation with Wieler about a lack of affordable modern houses available inspired her to launch the competition.[11]

The site for the Dwell Home was a 12-acre plot of land that Wieler and Tung owned in Pittsboro, North Carolina, near Chapel Hill.[12]

The participating architects were: Anderson Anderson in WA and CA; Anshen + Allen in CA; Michael Bell in NY; Central Office of Architecture in CA; Claesson Koivisto Rune in Sweden; Collins + Turner Architects in Australia; Jones Partners: Architecture in CA; Adam Kalkin in NJ; Konyk Architecture in NY; Marmol + Radziner in CA; William Massie and NY; Resolution: 4 Architecture in NY; Ralph Rapson & Toby Rapson in MN; Rocio Romero in MO; Jennifer Siegal in CA; and su11 architecture+design in NY.[12]

In May 2003, the architects submitted their proposals. Then, Wieler and Tung came to Dwell's office in San Francisco to meet with Arieff and a panel of advisors to select the winning design.[11] Judging was based on aesthetics, adherence to the budget of $200,000, construction viability, and potential for mass production.[13] Soon after at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City, Dwell announced that Resolution: 4 Architecture (RES4) won the competition. [11][14]

Resolution: 4 Architecture's proposal, entitled "Modern Modular," used prefabricated modules that were affordably built in a factory, shipped to the site, and craned onto a concrete foundation, which housed the mechanical systems. RES4's concept was that prefabricated modules could be configured in countless ways for unlimited design possibilities, though their proposal also included a home designed specifically to the clients, Wieler and Tung, and to the site.[11]

Architecturally, the 2,260-square-foot Dwell Home,[14] composed of seven modules,[15] reads as two intersecting bars, with the open-plan communal areas in the lower level bar and the private spaces in the second story. RES4's design used lots of windows and sliding glass doors for daylighting and views, and a roof deck includes an outdoor fireplace. Materials such as cedar siding, bamboo flooring, and aluminum-clad windows demonstrated the potential for customization with prefabricated construction.[11]

Carolina Building Solutions (CBS) was the factory selected to build the Dwell Home. Resolution: 4 Architecture's plan for the Dwell Home was designed within the limitations of the highway department regulations for shipping, but CBS still spent several months on engineering the Dwell Home, working within CBS's manufacturing procedures without changing RES4's original design. CBS began constructing the modules on April 6, 2004 and finished on April 13, 2004. It took only five days to build the framing and install insulation, sheathing, rough plumbing, rough electrical, nearly all of the Sheetrock, windows and trim, weatherproofing, cabinetry and stairs. On April 21, 2004, the modules were shipped from the CBS factory in Salisbury, NC to the site. By April 23, 2004, all the modules were set on the foundation.[11] On July 10, 2004, the Dwell Home Open House expected to received about 500 visitors, but received nearly 2,500 visitors, coming from as far as Michigan, California, and Oregon.[15] Initial construction cost estimates for the Dwell Home were about $87 per square foot, but the final cost in 2004 came in at about $110. The cost for the modules was $100,289.[11]


  1. ^ "The 20 Best Magazines of the Decade (2000-2009)". Paste Magazine. November 26, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Dwell.com Relaunches As A Social Network For The Design-Obsessed". Co.Design. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  3. ^ "Introducing Target's Latest Home Collab: Modern by Dwell Magazine". Target Corporate. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  4. ^ Xie, Jenny (2016-10-10). "Dwell and Target collab on a collection of affordable modern furniture". Curbed. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  5. ^ "New From Target And Dwell: Chic, Modern Furniture For $400 Or Less". Co.Design. 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  6. ^ "Target's Partners with Dwell Magazine for Home Collection". Apartment Therapy. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  7. ^ Fusaro, Kim. "Target's Home Decor Is Going Modern—and It's Going to Sell Out Fast". Glamour. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  8. ^ "Esquire Wins 2005 National Magazine Award". Hearst.
  9. ^ David Walker (March 10, 2006). "Home Grown: Creative Team of the Year Adweek". Dwell. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  10. ^ Penelope Green (October 12, 2011). "Q&A: The Unhappy Hipsters". The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Arieff, Allison. "Prefab, Proven". Dwell. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  12. ^ a b Arieff, Allison (March–April 2003). "Introducing the Dwell Home Architects". Dwell.
  13. ^ Arieff, Allison (July–August 2003). "The Dwell Home". Dwell.
  14. ^ a b Kellogg, Craig (May 29, 2003). "Again, Architecture Discovers Prefab". The New York Times.
  15. ^ a b Turrentine, Jeff (Mar 31, 2005). "The Prefab Future, Practically Here". Washington Post.

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