S,M,L,XL. Journal of Architectural Education, Ed. Alicia Imperiale and Enrique Ramirez. Vol. 69 No. 2, Taylor and Francis, October 2015.

The future has already arrived.
It’s just not evenly distributed yet.
—Attributed to William Gibson

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the publication of Rem Koolhaas/OMA’s S,M,L,XL, this special issue of JAE will serve as a platform to revisit, expose, and otherwise reevaluate the book’s ineluctable influence(s) on the practice and writing of architecture. We start with the premise that this rather large book— weighing in at over 6 pounds and printed with 1,376 pages of text and graphical material— has a lot to answer for. Many own the book, few have actually read it cover to cover, and yet S,M,L,XL was more than a last hurrah, more than an emissary from a future we are already familiar with. To put it another way, S,M,L,XL was very much an artifact of its time, a sterling example of the frontiers of architecture publishing when the Internet was still a low-bandwidth, slow, and limited medium. Yet the book also prefigured many aspects of contemporary architecture practice.