When I'm not daydreaming, I think about design all the time.
My design background began when I was five years old. I was introduced to those magic tools known as Lego. Three years later, during the whole original Star Wars era, my mother cruelly refused to buy me an X-wing fighter, so I built my own from Lego (this was well before Lego came out with its own versions of Star Wars merchandise). Yes, I was the traumatized little boy in the corner of the playground holding the multi-coloured Lego X-wing fighter. However, this did teach me an important lesson: you don't have to follow the instructions that come with the box. My X-wing fighter was soon followed by Lego versions of my favourite guns, airplanes, an exact replica of the house that we lived in at the time, and the Sphinx. On my Sphinx the nose was complete.
Throughout the course of my life, I have been
fortunate to live in six different countries and have visited countless
others. Here’s a quick summary:
In England I attended boarding school, which was just like Hogwarts, except without the magic and the great food. Some of the teachers were just as eccentric. In Pakistan, unbeknownst to my naïve parents, our gardener grew poppies and cultivated them for drug use. This was gently pointed out to my mother by some graceful guests at a garden party. In Mauritania (northwest Africa), I witnessed clouds of locusts so vast and thick that they would blot out the sun altogether and turn daylight into dusk. These insects like warm places, so we would walk out of the house to see every inch of the car covered in basking locusts. In Belgium, erm, nothing much happened. I do remember the chocolate being good. In America, I once hung off the balcony of a 25th floor apartment just to see what it would feel like. In Korea the army made me walk into a small cement hut and wrenched my gas mask off to breath in unspecified gas. It felt like being bathed in raw wasabi from the inside out. If I ever make an autobiography it would be in the form of a video game, so people could ‘play’ my life and hopefully avoid the mistakes that I made.
These are some of my interests outside of my career. There is nothing that does not interest me, with the exception of accounting. I find accounting quite boring. I have a respectable record collection. I have ridden a motorbike in seven different countries and snowboarded in three. I have received my advanced open water diver’s license. I have begun learning how to fly. I love to build things with my hands, sometimes miniature,sometimes large. I have an unhealthy obsession for cars and motorcycles, usually older ones’ which can be bought cheap and improved easily. I play a decent game of pool. I have also read many, many books and can even remember some of them. I draw a lot, and like to write. I’m an avid talker and slowly, I am learning to listen as well. I have a 13 year-old cocker spaniel called Huxley. I still play with Lego. I floss daily.
I’m not a big fan of television, but if there were a show that combined Top Gear and Spartacus, I’d watch it all the time. My goal in life is to host a version of Top Gear about design. And to be on the cover of Wired Magazine more than once. I also have a bucket list of ten things I need to design before I die.