Welcome to my corner of the Internet. This site has been around for a number of years and you have most likely arrived here from a Web Site I designed and managed to work a “designed by” link into or maybe you ran across smallTransport on one of the numerous design communities gracious enough to feature it. Whatever your reason for dropping by, welcome and thank you for your interest.
You continue to read on therefore I can only assume that you are curious about my background, work experience, influences and the like. If your reason for inquiry is to consider me as a consultant for your project, contact me with your thoughts as I am happy to speak with you in detail about them. Should you be a young or aspiring designer searching for a morsel of inspiration, direction or enlightenment from my experience it is my opinion that the two most valuable attributes for a designer to value, cultivate, and develop are curiosity and perseverance. Curiosity will inspire you to learn about and question the processes, systems, people and artifacts in the world around you and perseverance will empower you through the learning curves, challenges, and failed experiments you will undoubtedly encounter.
I have had no formal education in design which I suppose classifies me as a self-taught designer. Provided there is appropriate opportunity, my experience has been that one should embed themselves in the new environment or philosophy to best cultivate a thorough understanding of it. For many areas of study the University academic experience provides an unmatched opportunity for immersion in a new domain. For me however, the multifaceted nature of design has best been served through various personal and professional explorations.
I am a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where I held a scholarship to study and earned a degree in Violin Performance. My experiences as a violinist have been incredibly formative to my education in design. I have found that the areas of art, philosophy, and technique I identify with in music are suited perfectly to the same areas in design. More specifically, it was through my studies in music that I earned a great appreciation for and curiosity about human experience, aesthetics, collaboration and technique.
It was not until after graduation from college that I began to explore design, design processes, technology and the like. Electronic musicians, digital artists, interactive video and art with electronics were a burgeoning movement and caught my attention and piqued my curiosity in a major way.
I spent a lot of time reading everything I could get my hands on related to designers who inspired me and their craft be it architecture, fine art, programming, furniture design, etc. In time I was awarded a job as technical writer and designer of software manuals for a company in Austin which shifted my focus and study of Design from a purely aesthetic or experiential perspective to thinking about how technology as a tool can be effective and liberating to its user. I also discovered how most devices and interfaces fail to achieve their intended purpose by introducing complexity into a process rather than making it simpler or more catered to the user’s goal.
Within a few years of exploring, experimenting with and practicing Design I had designed a few Web Sites, software interfaces, and managed through features on Web Design award sites to capture the attention of MAYA Design in Pittsburgh. I regard my experience at MAYA as my graduate degree and then some in Interaction Design and Human Sciences. One of the qualities that makes MAYA unique is that in addition to its Design consultancy practice, it maintains a Design Research Lab that has explored fundamental aspects of information interaction and information device architecture for twenty years. A number of us were lucky enough to practice in the design consulting practice in addition to the MAYA Design Research agenda. This configuration of the company led to rich cross-pollination of real world design and technology challenges and deep design research and thinking. The result is an extremely rich environment rife with big ideas and experienced designers working together to enrich the present and build the future.
During my tenure at MAYA which was roughly 3 years, I worked on everything from design for high-level business challenges to Information Architecture, interface design, interaction design, print and graphic design, hardware and software prototyping and a slew of other projects. I both managed and worked on projects for large consumer electronics companies, startups, the National Academy of Sciences, and numerous other for-profit and non-profit entities. MAYA provided me the confidence and opportunity to expand my understanding of Design and the world in ways I will carry and apply for the remainder of my life. Though I am not currently working with MAYA, we will cross paths again (aren’t you curious?).
In my seemingly short Design career of about 6 years I have been fortunate to design an incredible variety of things including washing machines and other consumer electronics, software interfaces, automotive technology and interfaces, trade show experiences, Web-based software interfaces, Web Sites, a few short video documentaries, and I feel as though I have just begun. My passion and curiosity about the world continues to inspire me and I will continue my efforts to learn, create, and do my part to make the world a bit of a better place.
Now you know far more about me and my experience than I had originally set out to share. May you find it interesting and will hopefully relate to my experience and be inclined to get in touch to maybe share some of your own passions, visions, or ideas that keep you up at night.
10 Minutes of Fame for this site
This site and other of my works have been featured by the following design and Web Standards focused resources. Thank you all.
- Web Standards Award
- CSS Vault
- CSS Beauty
- Webdesign Awards
- Web Creme