Having always had an interest in recording the world around me, in 2014 I began to explore the medium of photography. A good friend of mine (and excellent photographer) offered to take me out and explain how he went about taking pictures. We had a fantastic few days, playing with different lenses, filters, tripods, long and short exposures and timers. I was able to take the same attention to detail that I apply to my art and my architecture, and applied it to this new medium. The following are a number of images captured since then.
After a struggle between two male mallards which took me completely by surprise, I was lucky enough to capture the victor as he celebrated. Sadly I was not quite quick enough to react to the sudden eruption of feathers, and the scene expanded beyond the lens, cropping the duck's head out of the image.
Using a long focal length and with the focus on the droplets of water settled on these birch branches, I was able to capture the incredible fragility of this early morning scene.
While in Gozo (the northernmost island within the Maltese archipelago) with a friend, I realised that the wind was picking up and the sun and haze were conspiring to create a beautiful sunset. I bundled my poor friend into a bus and we headed north, catching the sun just as it sunk towards the horizon as the waves and spray battered the cliffs and coastal road.
A long exposure managed to capture the intense blue colour (caused by high oxygen levels found in extremely cold water) of these stunning falls in Southern Germany.
Out of focus
While in Copenhagen, I spent half an hour deliberately shooting the lights of the city out of focus. I sought to capture the city as an abstract community.
One winter's morning, I was leaving early to catch a train to go to a site visit. I opened the curtains in the kitchen, and the view was just incredible. Already, people were going about their business, and the reflections of last night's rain picked out the movement of people and vehicles. I was extremely lucky when a flock of gulls flew overhead and into shot, and I packed up my camera and went to site, knowing that I couldn't beat that final shot.
The Mating Season
Taken in Spring in the Englischer Garten in Munich where this pair of geese were one of many combatants vying for dominance.
A walk in Autumn
Climbing up this hill suddenly revealed the sun, which served to beautifully silhouette my parents and the fence to the field beyond.
While in Bologna, some friends began larking around. I managed to sneak my camera out and take this shot without interrupting them.
Having spent the day visiting the old abandoned Lawers Village on the shores of Loch Tay, the wind began to howl and the clouds closed in. A narrow aperture enabled me to capture the dark, moody scene as clouds loomed over Ben Lawers.
Sunset on Chiemsee, Bavaria
Thistles and webs
As a youngster, I learnt piano from the phenomenally talented Geoffrey Heald-Smith. He was an incredible pianist, conductor and mentor who instilled a love for music in me. He suffered a stroke in his 70s, and tragically lost the use of his right hand. I was around 13 at the time, and it completely devestated me. After several attempts with new teachers, I largely gave up the piano. I returned to the instrument in 2014 at the age of 20, vowing to learn at least one new piece every year for the rest of my life.
Planet Earth Forever
Pirates of the Caribbean Medley
My Heart Will Go On (Theme from Titanic)
I began coaching when I was still in school myself. I volunteered at the local sports centre to help coach athletics to young children, and also helped run the Oban High School athletics club. Since then, my teaching has shifted to sailing, and I have spent time teaching in both the British Virgin Islands and Massachusetts, U.S.A. I hope to continue my teaching, and one day to perhaps also teach in architecture. The selection of photos here are from my time working as a yacht captain in the Caribbean, a flavour of how much fun learning (and teaching) can be.
A quiet moment on Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands
Fun on the beach
Bound for open ocean
Under full sail and flying!
An evening hike with our young crew
Bury your captain...
A race in fins
Home for a summer
Visualising Architecture | Graphic Design
As someone who enjoyed drawing and painting, I always wanted to learn rendering. However, I also very much see rendering as something disconnected from architecture- for just like painting it is not real in any sense. All pure art is an impression- derived from imagination. I felt that in order to fully appreciate this I had to learn the process of producing an image from nothing- to learn its limitations by working with them. The skill of producing a visualisation is a mere tool in the architect's toolbox- it is not architecture.
Learning to draw diagrams and to lay out pages that are clear, fun and easy to read is something that I learned as an Architecture Student at the University of Edinburgh. I very much of the opinion that there is no point in designing unless you are able to communicate your ideas visually, as well as verbally. Thus, I always saw Graphic Design as a crucially important skill to develop. Of course, most of my Graphic Design work to date is architecture-related, but there are some further examples of a purely 'graphical' nature.
Produced while working at Leupold Brown Goldbach Architekten in Munich, this view of the children's room in a home in rural Bavaria was used to consider material finishes within the space.
Sectional Perspective of a Private Villa
Produced while at Leupold Brown Goldbach Architekten, this visualisation sought to capture the effect the proposed huge skylight would have on lighting and uniting the central circulation space.
Pergola Amici extends out to provide sheltered external space for neighbouring Bar Amici in Koblemoor, Bavaria. Here we see the Pergola fulfilling its typical role as a place to meet and socialise.
(Sketch produced for a private purposes; project by LBGO Architekten)
The open-air cinema
A retractable screen offers the opportunity for the Pergola to become an open air cinema- highly popular in the warm Bavarian summers.
(Sketch produced for a private purposes; project by LBGO Architekten)
The living room in Augsburg
Produced while employed at LBGO Architekten, this sketch in photoshop was used to explore how the different language of the facade would transfer to the interior. Dark steel window frames emphasise the view to the garden, while the more muted white frames afford more subtle openings.
A friend's mother is a 'Hauswirtschaftlehrerin' (or Home Economics Teacher), and was trying to draw the instructions for a fun Christmas task by hand. I offered to help. It was a really interesting opportunity to explore 'folding' in the digital world.
An architectural proposition for a border wall sees the ice-bar as a means to unite cultures rather than divide them.
Submitted to the Facebook page 'Alt-Wall' (www.facebook.com/BordersUnite/) and subsequently published on the online platform 'Bento' (www.bento.de/politik/donald-trump-mauer-warum-sich-deutsche-firmen-fuer-die-ausschreibung-interessieren-1276598/)
A study in Photoshop
In order to demonstrate my stance of visualisation as potentially misleading, I took a photograph of a bland room from the internet, and then using only photoshop set out to turn the same room into first a sauna, and then a dancefloor. No matter how convincing either of these images may (or may not) be, they are not representative of good or even working architecture.
In 2013, a friend of mine made a proposal to me. He wanted me to paint his face for 100 days. He'd heard about a pair of graduates who had pioneered a novel approach to advertising- on a person. After some consultation with them, BuyMyFace100 was born, an advertising project where slogans would be painted onto my friend's face by myself every morning before our day at University. The following are some examples from the project.
Woodwork has been a part of my life since I was very small, and I spent a good part of my childhood making wooden boats, toy swords or go-karts. In my adult life I’ve since worked on a number of woodworking projects for friends and family- a few of which are detailed here.
Parcels on the left; letters on the right!
In winter 2015, my parents were building an extension, having recently moved. Using the spare material and off-cuts, I set about building a post and parcel box. It had to have separate compartments for letters and parcels, and I wanted all fixings to be completely hidden from the outside- for both visual and weathering reasons. An internal frame supports the cladding, and all screws are fixed from the inside, through the frame and onto the cladding.
I worked out the construction strategy in Rhino 3D. An internal frame was used to attach the cladding from the inside (keeping the screws and all other fixings invisible). The roof was waterproofed using slates onto marine grade plywood, with a lead cap for the join in the pitch. The whole structure was then mounted using bolts onto a large log, and sited at the entrance to my parents' new home!
The sealed box
To this day, my parents tell me that the box never lets water in. One day, a postman commented to them- 'Now THAT, is what I call a postbox!'
A dog bed
The dog’s favourite place to sleep was an old transport box (see below). She’d decided she liked the high walls and the sense of security; the contours of the box; the little door to look out of. Unfortunately, the box in question was pretty unsightly, and so a project began to clothe the bed, but keep the cosy feel that the dog loved so much.