We've been doing this issue on special education for nearly a decade now, offering up tips and advice to undergrad, graduate, and post-grad design students on everything from taking a year off before going to grad school to whether designers need technical training. Sometimes the stories are practical (how to create a good portfolio), sometimes it's a little more abstract (is there life after grad school?) But whatever the story, our goal has always been to shed some light on the entire spectrum of design education, be it the first steps of the journey or the ultimate destination

This month, as part of our special report on education we give you some insights on each end of that process. Jake Pinholster, a talented young projection designer who will begin a new career as an instructor at Arizona State University this fall, talks about his decision to teach what he calls media design, the next important step, as he sees it, in the evolution of convergent lighting and projection technologies (page 14). And for those students getting ready to face the real world, the very busy designers who make up the firm known as The Luce Group — Charles Cameron, Frank DenDanto, Lauren Helpern, and Traci Klainer — talk about the challenges and rewards in setting up your own shop (page 16).

And of course, no ED education issue would be complete without our annual roundup of Young Designers to Watch, in which we spotlight talented artisans from around the country just beginning to make their mark. This year's five up and comers — Zak Borovay, Jennifer Caprio, Takeshi Kata, Jake Rodriguez, and Kristie Roldan — seem poised for great things, and you can learn more about them beginning on page 17.

But education is in the eye of the beholder (or at least whoever pays for the tuition), so there's plenty of other edifying material in this issue. The cover story (quite a wild cover, by the way, eh? It looks like an especially memorable acid trip-not that I know what that's like, mind you) gives you a behind the scenes technical look at one of the year's biggest projects, Wynn Las Vegas (page 28). One of the first new shows of the Broadway season, Lennon: The Musical, is also noteworthy for its technical aspects; you can learn all about that on page 24. And we continue this month with our special ED in SRO coverage, beginning on page 49. Stop reading this already, and get your learning on.