I’m a designer with a love for everything DIY, and a strong desire to reduce my footprint for both environmental and economical reasons.
Raised in the rolling green hills of NW England, I preferred taking my toys to pieces than playing with them. I attended school where I enjoyed anything creative – workshops, ceramics, art – anything where I could use my hands; this led me to study Product Design at the University of Leeds. I was lucky enough to experience life in another country, with a study abroad year in Canada, and I completed my Masters in Product Design in 2010. I learnt many new skills, the most important being the design process, a methodology for solving problems.
Alongside a decent education I’ve also had access to the internet since the 28kb modem, I was 8. Research with the internet seems so ridiculously simple that any clearly defined problem can find its solution somewhere online. An invaluable tool for a designer, it has expanded my range of disciplines past product design into graphics, photography, videography, building and landscaping.
After university I left to travel. With very little money I found a farm to volunteer on, where I learnt about Permaculture, another design science. I fell in love with the idea and dreamed a dream to become self sufficient, to walk through a forest full of food, to create energy, recycle waste, and build my own house. I didn’t crave travel any longer, I stayed at the farm for 9 months, and whilst there I designed and built an earthbag tiny house.
I ran out of money, so after returning to the UK I got a job designing gas pipes. The company produced a magnetic fuel system for industrial boilers, cleaning the gas by combining dirt particles for a cleaner burn and a 5% efficiency increase, magical. I visited factories all around Europe, measuring up boilers for our system, and returned to the office to model them in 3D. Drawings, renderings and animations were then made to help sell the system and install it correctly.
In my spare time I completed an online Permaculture Design Course with Geoff Lawton. The 12 week course strengthened my belief in restorative agriculture and taught me how we can cooperate with natural systems to maximise our return on energy input. We already have the technology to produce surplus food and energy with very little land, even in desert environments with relatively small amounts of water. This was the theory I needed to believe in my dream.
In 2012 an email arrived from my friends at the farm in Ecuador asking if I wanted to help create another earthbag building, a community centre and teaching space. I left the office and headed back to Ecuador. I was the only volunteer with a background in design, so I happily began to research. I found hundreds of forums, youtube videos and tutorials and passed them on to my fellow builders with a slightly new aesthetic. It took us two years to complete the walls and roof, and it was the most enjoyable and fulfilling project I’ve ever been a part of.
I’m now living in Estonia, editing photos, timelapses and videos so that I can start putting something back into the internet.
Volunteering has been my life on and off for the last 6 years, because I love the work, but this doesn’t help the bank balance. If you like any of the work I’ve done and want to hire me, then I’m open for business!
If you like what I’ve been doing and want to support me, then donate and I’ll be forever grateful!
I’m always searching for new projects and collaborators so please get in touch!