Vibrant Vancouver

Sat in the front seat of another float plane, I enjoyed a breathtaking view of Vancouver as I descended into its harbour. For such a densely populated city, I felt I’d arrived somewhere small and friendly.

Across the Salish Sea

After eight days exploring North America, it was time to visit some of its more westerly extremities. Flying out from Toronto, my first stop was Saltspring Island, via Vancouver Airport and a float plane.

A Taste of Toronto

Some cities are best arrived at by air; only by flying over Sydney, London or New York do you get a sense of their scale and majesty. San Francisco is best approached by car, with some of the best views of that city seen as you cross the Bay Bridge. Others are best suited to arrival by train. Toronto is one such city.

Onwards to Ottawa

After four days in Washington, it was on to another North American capital, Ottawa. I encountered a city that was cold yet plentiful in ATMs that would refuse to accept my debit card.

Back in the District

My North American adventure started in Washington DC; ostensibly so I could attend an edition of this year’s An Event Apart conference. Yet it was also a good excuse to catch up with Shannon, who graciously planned a tour of the city for me and Andy.

Continuing Adventures in America

Having tried so diligently last year to reduce the amount of flying I do, I hoped to keep this year’s long-haul flights to one. With an important part of my family now settled in São Paulo, and some of my best friends based in San Francisco, maybe such lofty goals are foolhardy. Before I write about my most recent travels, I address the hypocrisy in taking such a trip.



A Week with Windows Phone 7

With three years of iPhone ownership I’ve become accustomed to the design and behaviour of iOS, yet at the same time ignorant of other smartphone platforms. Thanks to Clearleft’s new mobile testing environment, I can now spend a week or so with different operating systems to get a feel for how they differ. First up; Windows Phone 7.

The Commonwealth Institute

Thanks to London Open House, last month Simon and I visited the Commonwealth Institute, regarded by English Heritage as the second most important modern building in London (after Royal Festival Hall). Neglected for ten years, work will soon begin on preparing the site for the New Design Museum, scheduled to open in 2014.

Having exhibited here in 2002, I look forward to seeing how the building will adapt to meet its new purpose. I’ve posted photos from my visit on Flickr. You can also view Simon’s photos too.



Today I was told the sudden and unexpected news that one of my family’s pets, Sage, had been put to sleep. Unbeknown to us, his body was being ravaged by a cancerous tumour so aggressive, that it only made itself visible last weekend. He had days to live.


My Weekend at the Fringe

Having enjoyed the Edinburgh Fringe when I attended for the first time last August, I was determined to do it all over again. A long bank holiday weekend and a number of shows by comedians I’ve been longing to see, left few excuses not to return. Here are my thoughts on each performance I saw this time round.

Thoughts on Adobe Muse

This week Adobe revealed Muse, yet another web application but this time aimed at print designers looking to transfer their skills to the web. However this app has created some controversy, not only due the quality of the code it outputs, but also the claims made in the marketing videos.

Change the World

Facebook’s continuing hoovering up of top design talent has been worrying me for some months. The shopping spree continued earlier this month with the acquisition of Push Pop Press, a promising start-up building an innovative digital publishing platform.



I’ve finally uploaded my photos from this year’s Coed-y-Brenin weekender. Whilst this annual weekend in Wales is still referred to as ‘Coed-y-Brenin’, we stopped biking in that forest many years ago, and now visit other attractions near the campsite in Dolgellau instead.

This year Mark, Dave, Jon and I climbed Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales. It was a gorgeous day and the views weren’t disappointing either.

The Sky’s the Limit

Some disappointing news today for fans of Formula 1. The BBC will only be showing half of next year’s races live, as a new deal means it will be sharing broadcasting rights with BSkyB.

New & Improved

Unless you’re viewing this in your RSS reader, you may have noticed a few changes to the site. It’s been well over two years since the last redesign, but I’ve been working on this update on-and-off for the last 12 months. I could probably continue tweaking and refining, but as a wise man once said, ‘real artists ship’.

Remembering Brasília

Somewhat forgotten in the last few months has been my thoughts on Brasília which I visited all the way back in March. For such an incredibly city it seems remiss not to record my thoughts before they fade into distint memory.

The Architecture of Brasília

Brasília is remarkable for a number of reasons, not least its aeroplane like street layout planned by Lúcio Costa. However it’s the distinctive architecture that draws most attention, and much of this was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Few architects are given the opportunity to design on such a scale, so it’s unsurprising that I recognised many familiar patterns and motifs appearing throughout the city’s many different buildings.


Two Years

Two years ago I joined Clearleft. Now with the responsive design movement in full swing, I look back over the last two years to see how much my approach to web design has changed.

Escape From Brighton

One of my favourite photos from a recent Saturday spent exploring Brighton with my camera.


Ampersand & More

Much of the excitement has come in the form of web conferences, and looking back, I find it surprising just how many I’ve attended this year already.

Why I’m Voting Yes to AV

Whilst I no longer want to ‘tactically vote’ or have my MP hold on to a ‘safe seat’, I’d much rather see continued reform towards fairer representation across all parts of government.



The Brasília Palace Hotel

For anyone coming to Brasília for its modernist architecture, no visit would be complete without a stay at this hotel. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer and opened in 1958, it hosted dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth and Che Guevara before being devastated by fire in 1978. After facing decades of abandonment and neglect, it was modernised and reopened in 2006.

The Worst SXSW Ever Was My Best SXSW Ever

This years SXSW Interactive saw 1,041 sessions presented by 1,648 speakers, growing to such extent that its size now rivals that of the more popular music festival. Yet bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.


I Ran a Half-Marathon

Last weekend I took part in the Brighton Half Marathon. With an official chip time of 2:31:27, had I not stopped twice to relieve myself, I would have completed it in under two and a half hours. That I ran the entire distance is what I’m most proud of however – although the same can’t be said of my non-existant training schedule prior to the event.

The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech is undoubtedly one of the most successful independent British films ever made, yet some see this popularity as problematic given the artistic licence given to the events it portrays.


2010 in Review

Last year was notable for a running theme on sustainability; both in the topics I was writing about and my decision not to make any flights as part of a 10:10 pledge to reduce my carbon emissions by 10%. This meant travel was based around the British Isles, and for the first time I visited all four constituent countries of the United Kingdom in one year.