42four Design



Never fall in love with your design, or so goes the maxim anyway.

The reasons seem clear, obvious even. In those initial moments you can get carried away with the poetry of creation, you can become trapped in the glamour of a beautiful lie, swept along in a current of fantasy and there's potential for heartbreak.

These are all good reasons and true. And not. These initial sparks, this falling in love, isn't a fiction, it is merely an incomplete truth and only dangerous and unsustainable when it is ungoverned and withheld from the world. To be complete, this spark needs to be brought out into the light and shadows of you peers, your partners and the desire and needs of your client. This completion will make it something different, maybe radically so, but without that first spark it could never be strong enough to thrive. It could never be what it's meant to be.

Embrace those flashes of insight from a rooftop garden conversation or those long and quiet realizations from watching the tide from the beach. Without these, without that initial madness, without that passion and without that risk, what is the point of this thing of ours? Without these, what are we left with?

What else is there?

Fall in love, make sparks, but respect what you're making and those you're making it with, offer both your full attention, but allow it into the light and shadows, listen and trust that it will endure and be right.

Sparks are worth fighting for and waiting for what they can become is time well spent.

Jason Cassels
Giving Back.

Look, we all know it: designers are a self-absorbed lot. We're rightfully criticized as being shallow, myopic and more concerned with the veneer than the beating heart inside. We at 42four want to change this, give something back and help the less fortunate, those who may not have access to our expertise, the unfashionable and tasteless. So today we are doing our part and we are proud to announce the launch of Designers Without Boundaries!™ 


For our first clients, or, as we like to call them, Help-Partners™ we turned to one of the the most vilified, hated and spat upon people in our society: the landlord. Today we are lending our skills to the less unfortunate to better our world tomorrow and into the future.

For a first step we decided on something easy. Something simple enough for a landlord, but with a big impact. Today we are releasing a new colour collection to help our Help-Partners™ help themselves help the help they've hired to handle the day-to-day management of their properties. Today we announce Feudalism™ our newest collection of interior surface treatments. We sincerely hope you'll join us in our excitement about this program and to help you get on board, here's a sneak peek:


We begin with our most popular custom colour: Nordic Scrotum™. The uncomfortably caucasian fleshiness of this "colour" can be used for trim and/or wall treatments as well as for ceilings, cabinetry, floors, windows or roofs. A perfect way to add a touch of hopelessness to any semi-legal "garden" "suite" .


Possibly the best part about Despair™ is that it requires zero effort on your part. Zero! And, as we all know, a landlord's favourite effort is no effort at all. By merely waiting one, maybe two months Nordic Scrotum™ automatically becomes Despair™. And the only change is in the perception of the tenants themselves - it's all in their minds! Now that's design science!


A cousin of Nordic Scrotum™, Indifference™ really lets them know where you stand. Neither gloss nor matt, semi nor eggshell, a paint that will leave your tenants so disoriented they'll hardly notice that smell or the scurrying under the kitchen counters.


Neglect™, a classic treatment for any home - rich in patina and warmth, or damp and chilling drafts. Or whatever. Who cares?


Off "White"™ is unique in that it is our only treatment that requires a team to apply. First we start with a simple coat of white paint (any brand) applied judiciously to every surface in the home and then the Feudalism Finishing Technicians™ are brought in to smoke and deep-fry fish for 11 years.


Growing more popular every day, Renoviction™ is challenging Nordic Scrotum™ for the top spot. Renoviction™ is a classic architectural white with a little touch of blue to make it colder, more unforgiving - a perfect match for any contemporary cash-grab. A fresh coat of Renoviction™ and no review board will ever question that 40% increase in rent. No sir.


All of us at 42four are super excited about Feudalism™ and we hope you are too. Stay tuned!



Wait, Weren't you Citylab?


No, you're in the right place. This was Citylab. So what's going on?

This is what.

Yup, The Atlantic Cities is now CityLab - hooray…

Why did they make the change? In their own words:

So glad you asked. While nothing has changed about our kinship with The Atlantic, we just really like the name CityLab better. Our approach to journalism has always been grounded in experimentation and a sense of fun, and we think CityLab captures that spirit. Plus, between you and me, the old name was always a bit of a tongue-twister.

Totally agree, we just really like the name Citylab better too, that's why we didn't pick a shitty name like The Atlantic Cities for our business. Anyway, when you're out looking for that perfect new name for a rebrand just how do you find it? Do you do some A/B testing? Focus-group it? Wait for inspiration to strike? Maybe. Sometimes, though, you might just give up on civility and just "borrow" the name of some folks you've been following on Twitter for years? But who knows? Really…

Now lesser people would be bitter and vindictive about a large institution coming in and stepping all over there "brand" after they spent years building it. They might lash out on their blog and point out that such a colossal dick move is only made worse by the fact that doppelgänger's new site tilts precariously toward gross lifestyle content and the kind of huffpo fluff pieces that are literally ruining internet journalism AND, adding insult to injury, we are now continually getting confused with our newly rebranded cousins from the south. Just today someone thought we posted a piece about whale vomit. Whale vomit?

Lesser people would let their disappointment and resentment bubble up and take hold of them. Lesser people that its, but not us. No. We soldier on, better than we were, stronger than we were and now with an even more minimalist (perpetually half-finished) site.

RIP Citylab and long live 42four.

Enjoy and stay tuned…