I am (also) a wordsmith.
My career as a writer and editor spans several decades, cities, and disciplines, with a focus on architecture, design, photography, digital media and ceramics. An online sampler is here.
I trained as a journalist in my native London at the trade publishing house Morgan Grampian, became Features Editor of its weekly newspaper Building Design at age 23, then took off on a Fulbright Scholarship to study for my Ph.D. at Princeton University just as Blueprint magazine was launched. As its U.S. Correspondent, I'd frequently abscond from Princeton's leafy campus and fly on People Express to write critiques of new buildings and profiles of their architects. This was the era of the fax, Mac SEs, and 35mm transparencies sent to London by courier.
Back in London in the late 1980s, I began writing for the Arts Page of The Independent, the new broadsheet national newspaper — first, on architecture, later, on photography. I learned to write to a pre-determined page layout using ATEX software (which graciously informed you how far you were, already, over your word-length), and to cut and completely rewrite in a matter of hours, before my feature went to press for the next day's paper. I also wrote on film and visual arts for Sight & Sound and New Statesman & Society. (Between print deadlines, I completed my doctoral dissertation, Constructing the Corporate Image: Architecture, Mass Media and Management in the early U.S. Multinational Corporation, awarded by Princeton University in 1989.)
In the early 1990s, I became Writer-at-Large for I.D. Magazine in New York. With the Internet ascendant, I turned my journalistic lens towards new media, writing profiles of web design and information architecture pioneers such as Muriel Cooper of the Visible Language Workshop at MIT's Media Lab, and Bob Stein of the Voyager Company. I contributed to numerous other US and European publications, including Domus, frieze, Lotus International, Metropolis, Ottagono, Print, Skyline and The New York Times magazine, and to exhibition catalogues, monographs and books.
From 2000-2008, as Director of the University of Minnesota Design Institute, I launched a publishing program spanning print, broadcasting and digital media. The DI's output included TV programs produced in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television; video documentaries of the DI's Design Camp for teens and Big Urban Game; printed poster Knowledge Maps on topics ranging from the design of the US election system to digital fabrication methods, as well as a boxed set of nine alternative cartographies of the Twin Cities; The Knowledge Circuit online review of digital media conferences; and two award-winning books, Metro Letters: A Typeface for the Twin Cities, and Else/Where: Mapping — New Cartographies of Networks and Territories.
Since my professional shift towards physical making, my writing has also shifted in emphasis, towards the relationship between analog and digital; the meaning of the hand-made in an age of electronic reproduction and digital fabrication; ceramics as fine art; and craft — definitions, practices, and paradoxes — in the context of globalization.