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Our Call to Arms

Photo: Andrea K. Gingerich/Getty Images

If ever there was a call to arms for our work at Department of Here, this is it. As tastes travel faster and mass-produced decor becomes even more common, the sameness becomes ubiquitous. "Brooklyn" becomes shorthand for hip, and suddenly you can visit a Brooklyn-esque cafe in every small city in America. In a world like this, it's increasingly harder for places to separate the signal from the noise and identify and then express their independent personality. And as hard as it is for cities to find their voice, the upshot of this is even worse for people. A world with fewer and fewer distinct cultural and visual landmarks is hard to navigate. People become lost in the sameness and become desperate for places that actually mean something.

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