Now on its second issue, Hindsight is a magazine that seeks to study, observe and research cities in order to explore issues that are facing the urban condition. Taking a nostalgic view of the past and applying it to our current collective condition, it asks whether we could do better with what we already have. The magazine uses archival photography to draw on the past and find ways of realizing a better urban future.
Issue two looks at the legacy of world Expos, their pros and cons, and what has led cities to hold them in the first place. It focuses on case studies of expositions in different cities; Montreal, Vancouver (where the magazine is based), Brussels, Osaka, Brisbane, Seattle and Milan. The dates of these expositions range from the 1950s right up to 2015. The issue seeks to question the long-term impact of these major events on their host cities and to study how certain municipalities are preserving their legacy.
The magazine’s structure is straightforward; each case study is given its own section, which includes historical context and archival photographs from the exposition. At the end of the issue, there is a rounded conclusion, which makes it feel a bit like an essay rather than a magazine.
I can’t decide whether this introduction – case study – conclusion structure is a nice, simple way to keep the magazine’s topics digestible, particularly when both editions so far have focused on quite specific topics (the last issue considered the value of infrastructure projects across a handful of cities), or whether it’s a bit staid.
Having said that, Hindsight is a useful reminder how the history of our cities is easily overlooked as we go about our busy urban lives; and its focus on the modernist era a timely celebration as that period passes further into history.
Published by: Megan Falukner and RJ McCulloch