Hello World

October 28, 2021

Welcome to my blog. I am not really expecting anyone to visit this site or read these posts, but here goes nothing.

I have had this domain since I graduated university and I never really had time or a need to put anything on it. For a while when I was a freelancer, it was a way to have a more professional looking email address. Eventually it became my personal email address and more difficult to spell than gmail.com.

After renewing the domain every year for the past 17 years, I recently started to have the nagging feeling that I should do something with it even if no one ever sees it. This was compounded further when I read the book Ends by Joe Macleod, it's an interesting look at our relationship as humans with endings. Hint, we suck at them. In the book Joe discusses digital waste and how the internet is full of deadends and useless data that we create and keep on creating, so instead of doing the impossible and trying to purge all my junk data. I thought I would at least tidy up this digital deadend a bit.

Last year during the lockdown of 2020 I watched the documentary The Social Dilemma. It horrified me and I found myself frantically deleting all my accounts before the film was over. So now I happily have no way of sharing things online. I'm also not on any of the design portfolio websites, because when I started out they didn't exist and now it seems a little weird when you are a 40 year old design VP who isn't looking for a job. So the first thing I did was put up a few of the more memorable projects I've been fortunate enough to work on during my career.

A sort of portfolio/retrospective on the internet but mostly as a reminder to myself that I have been producing creative work for a while and although the majority of it has contributed to many a landfill, some of it is quite good and worth reflecting on.

Some projects are for large clients or now successful startups and others are things that I have done for myself, friends and family members. Regardless of their industrial or societal merit, I care about them all a great deal and have placed within them time, energy and that mysterious creative force that magically takes over as a deadline approaches. Recognising the work and filing it away seems like an appropriate ending .

With the portfolio curated and the ego stroked, the site still seemed a bit pointless.

Over the last few years I have developed an appreciation for philosophy. When I was 14 years old I had an epiphany in church of all places, that I was in fact an Atheist. I decided then and there that I was good on both the philosophical and theological fronts moving forward, and for the next 20 years I thought that was true.

In fact, I was depressed for much of my 20s, I just didn't notice because I worked all the time. In my early 30s I realised that I needed to start caring for myself better and I found the sport of powerlifting. It helped me to connect my mind to my body and feel physically fit again. This led to meditation and mindfulness practices, which in turn took me to Taoism. I used this new found spirituality to explain all things mystical I didn't understand or that science couldn’t explain. Something that I have realised is just as important to humans as caring for the body and the mind.

The missing piece and what I have discovered is the keystone to life as a human was philosophy, which came to me in the form of Stoicism. A contemporary stoic author that I enjoy is Ryan Holiday, he champions journaling in his book Stillness is the Key.

I keep a personal daily journal that I will definitely not be sharing online, because it makes little sense, and my life and thoughts are not that interesting. However, as a mindfulness practice it is a great way to organise and increase awareness of thoughts and I highly recommend it. Anyway, to get to the point I thought “why don't I add a blog to my site?”. As a sort of semi-private journal of ideas and discussion for posterity, even if (pardon my British) it is a bit shit.

Earlier this year my wife Hannah and I bought some land in Kerhonkson, NY. It has been a dream of mine to build a house and I am lucky to have found someone who supports my dreams, we plan to break ground in 2022.

Having been responsible as a designer for creating a huge amount of waste, the least that I could do was try and build a house with the lowest possible impact on the environment. We are currently in the design stages and are working with a firm in Maine called GO Logic to build a Net-Zero passive house.

I thought that this would be the perfect start to my journaling activities, documenting and sharing the design, development and fabrication of a passive house from the raw land to the completed building.

I hope you find it interesting.

- Hamish

You'll more quickly find an earthly thing kept from the earth than you will a person cut off from other human beings.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 9.9.3