I aim to design and build tools that nurture the spirit of human resourcefulness.
We all have an innate ability, as a tool-making people, to make ourselves at home wherever we find ourselves – whether that be on a remote island, in tundra, in rainforest or in the high-rise inner city. This is a resourcefulness that comes with careful listening and observation of our environment, such that we come to understand our interaction with community and place. However as a species we face a crisis as we come to the painful collective realisation that we have built an environment of so many conflicting layers that we struggle to become skilful in ecology (the Greek root of which means ‘study of one’s dwelling place’) and we are destroying many parts of our environment even as we think we are solving problems or making progress.
In design and manufacture I think it is vitally important to trace the roots of the technology we design – and to consider the long-term cultural significance of what we build. During the industrial revolution, as a society we got swept away by the excitement of what technology could offer – mind over matter – leading us to be the consumer society we are now; addicted to accumulating more gadgets than we know what to do with. However if we are able to be more mindful we can uncover long-standing prejudices about how we use our bodies, how we work, how we connect to community and to the land that sustains us. We can learn from the ways of our ancestors, even though technology has changed us.
Humans are tellers of stories, and our story of who we are defines what we make. I believe we can make things which tell the story of who we want to be.
I want to build tools that are a joy to use, that make it easier for us to build community and co-working, that allow a culture that is connected to the land (growing our own food, fuel, materials), and that spark the imagination. In a practical sense, I will strive to create designs which are:
- beautiful to look at and satisfying to use
- of the highest quality craftsmanship
- built for the smallest appropriate scale of production
- meet as many needs as possible without losing function
- designed for ease of maintenance, repair and evolution and recycling.