From the ARCADE Issue 36.1 feature,"ARCADE at 35: A Retrospective." Articles from the issue will release online over the following weeks. Subscribe to receive ARCADE in print.

A graphic image of a pixelated head

Illustration by Brian Boram

Cooperative communities can reshape a place to great effect.

In the wilds of Alberta, Canada, a massive beaver dam a half-mile long spans a vast swamp. This elaborate structure of mud and branches is an impressive achievement and encouraging example of collaborative work. With grit and determination, these well-adapted creatures have bent, gnawed, and stacked an entire ecosystem to their will. Busy in their lodges, situated throughout this industrious beaver city, they work tirelessly, nature’s evidence that cooperative communities are here to stay. Decades in the making, this multigenerational act has succeeded despite it all.

Finding a place to parse our thoughts is critical when making sense of a complex world.

Multiverse is a cool word, and the philosophical and physical implications of the concept are profound. It’s defined by Merriam-Webster as “a theoretical reality that includes a possibly infinite number of parallel universes,” but some might put their own unique spin on the term, describing the multiverse as a place where anything can happen. Adrift in the ether, a small editorial team contemplates topics on social justice, sustainable ecosystems, regenerative cities, adaptability, economics, and ethics in a free-flowing dialogue. In a parallel universe, this team is an infinite group of believers who make it all happen, saving everything, everywhere, always—and forever.

Diagonal thinking and uncertainty are the norm when at the height of creativity.

Picasso famously said, “To know what you are going to draw, you have to begin drawing.” The success of this directive is gauged by the old proverb, “If at first you do not succeed, try, try again.” Each saying serves to remind us that the creative process is a circuitous path. How we find our way is often guided by our communities and the experiences we share. How we adapt is the truest measure of our creativity.