Observing the things that matter
We started The Alpine Review a decade ago as an attempt to understand those tremors from a long-term point of view — to look at how our immediate moment is shaped by the past and will shape us in the future. The output of that process was a high-design, conceptually bold, ad-free and mammoth-sized print magazine which we called “a compendium of ideas for a world in transition”. After three successful issues, we thought the project had fulfilled its mission and it entered a happy, self-imposed hiatus in 2016.
Since then however, we’ve observed the development of a number of worrying dynamics which make our future seem ever more fragile and uncertain. Our intuition ten years ago was a world rebalancing. Now it seem humanity might be facing a more dramatic faith, unless we find a way to complete a massive redesign effort of our systems and institutions.
This is why we’ve decided it was time to bring back The Alpine Review for another tour of active duty. Step one was to create a digital home for the project, making all the existing content available for those who have followed us along in our journey and to newcomers who might not have come across the printed magazine before (in this case, welcome!). The second step will come later in 2022, when we determine what our role can and should be in our evolving information ecology.
In the mean time, feel free to browse the full archive, peruse our greatest hits or use our research questions as a starting point. If you’d like, you can also learn more about the print issues we’ve made.
Now more than ever, the world has become extremely hard to decipher. My objective, like you, is to map things out.
Let’s work through it together.
Founder, editor and publisher
This project would not have been possible without the contribution of:
Patrick Tanguay, who was one of the original 'mind behind', editor (Issues 1 and 2) and later editor-at-large (Issue 3); Patrick Pittman who led the editorial effort for Issue 3; Peter Bihr, 'our man in Berlin', who opened his network to us when Alpine was just a concept; Elise Eskanazi who expertly art-directed all three print issues, and last but not least, Alex Gervais, who runs the engineering of this website.
Full credits can be found on the magazine page.
About the name
We are often asked to clarify the choice of name, so anticipating this — here's the background. The Alpine Review provides a useful metaphor in a few ways. First, it’s about perspective. Climbing the mountain for the inarticulable gratification of surveying the landscape and getting an overview. It seems overwhelming at the bottom, but when you’re standing at its peak, the path makes sense and the journey worthwhile. Second, it's about massive disruptions; like tectonic shifts, they are most apparent at the edges where the plates collide: changing landscapes and making mountains. Finally, with mountains come cliffs, caves and caverns, hidden valleys and unexpected crevices to explore and discover.
Praise for The Alpine Review
“This is an incredible magazine – fascinating in its scope and breadth of coverage.”
— Madeleine Morley (read the full review here), magCulture
"This magazine's so extraordinarily good, it makes Montreal look cooler than Berlin"
— Bruce Sterling
“The Alpine Review reaches a level where they can write about almost everything. And you will listen. The quality of the writing and the people that are involved are outstanding. Topped with a lot of surprises and little snippets, it is a masterpiece.”
— Jeremy Leslie, magCulture
“The Economist’s cooler, better dressed sister.”
"A magazine you want to keep for the weekend; you want to spend time with."
— Tyler Brûlé, Monocle (listen to the entire review here, from 32:50)
The need to memorize something is a twentieth-century skill. The need to navigate in a buzz of confusion, and to figure out how to trust the information that you find—if you can feel confident doing that, the world is yours.