The short story

You can find details of my professional history on LinkedIn.
Much of my work happens through Fit Associates.
I’m starting something new! Okay Then, a participatory production company
I teach each Fall in the MFA in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts.
I sometimes put writing up on
I sometimes leave litter, whimsy and oddities on YouTube

Design in These Times: why I made this site

In the “I don’t need to tell you” department: old structures are failing, new ones are unclear, and the forces of belonging and oppression are both in bloom. Design practice and education are part of all that. Design is full of possibility for better ways for us to live together, or for continuing the harms of the old.

I made this site because I want to engage in the “great turning” toward life-sustaining work. In the halls of practice and craft I pay most attention to, Something is Going On. Many are recognizing how we’ve internalized industrial, colonial, and supremacist mindsets. There is a surge of interest in purposeful work among designers. I see eagerness to shift power and work with emergence at all scales.

Tired: stand-alone brains. Wired: love.

I’m writing this page a few days after a school shooting in the US. Two short weeks after the grocery store shooting in Buffalo, NY. Black friends say they hesitate to go to the grocery store. They think about their safety when they go to church. The atmosphere is sober. Fearful.

We have to engage, as best we’re able. We have to show up with more than our resumes and brains. These times ask for our love—a channel from our interior lives out into our communities. This means expanding our processes and tools, conversations and concepts. We have new things to learn and practice together, and old things to let go of.

In 2009, I began shifting my work to emphasize social questions and outcomes over business and technical challenges. I filled myself with concepts, approaches, methods and skills. As I applied this learning, I found that head knowledge is not enough. New ways of working mean new habits of mind. Adopting new habits of mind comes through experiences, through living new practices together.

That’s what I want to support. If you seek to shift habits of mind and relationship, or deepen the creative life of your slice of life, I’d like to help.

Why are the photos on this site big open landscapes?

The practical answer: I grew up on the prairies of north central Montana, a place that’s very much alive in my sense of home. The photographs on the site are all from there.

The poetic answer: for me that prairie with its wide horizon and long cycles is a useful life image. We walk toward the horizon with no path to follow, in the company of all the creatures and forces, participating as best we can along the way.