I'm a designer first and foremost. I believe in a form-follows-function model that lends itself to clean, bold design; and I try to apply this to every project on which I work. Whether that project be developing a website, blueprinting an API, writing a speech, framing a shot, or organizing an event, this idea of design can be found in everything.
In the past, I competed in the Kansas Robotics League, before going on to teach several robotics outreach camps; I'm a decorated public speaker and policy debater, and thanks to the work of a fantastic group of people, I helped co-produce the first TEDx event at a high-school in Kansas; I'm an amateur photography nerd; I love to run; and I love to read -- and I still hold the pipe dream of some day writing a book... If that list seems long and unrelated, that's not a coincidence. I love to take on new projects and explore new areas. To further my pursuit of technologic design, I'm currently studying Computer Science at the University of Kansas.
The world around us was imagined, created, and built by a silent army of designers who didn't set out to change the world. They took a look at the world around them and set out to solve a problem with a simple, effective solution. From the enormous transportation plan for Formula One racing, down to the beautiful simplicity of the British wall-plug, good design is all around us.
The best design is driven by need; by the idea that form follows function. Find an elegant way to achieve the goal at hand and implement it well, implement it boldly, and its form will follow. To this end, there are a few core tenets I believe about design: good design is transparent; good design is considerate, good design doesn't compromise, and good design gets out of the way.
Design shouldn't be obfuscated or hard to grasp. Good design should be simple and elegant to the core. Whether it's a speech or a program or a mechanical device, the underlying function of every element of the whole should be easy to observe and understand. This helps others appreciate and improve upon a work.
Form in a vacuum is great, but if a work can't function with other elements, then it serves no purpose. Designs should embrace external elements and incorporate them.
Oliver Reichenstein once said that good design is invisible. It serves its purpose simply and elegantly and it doesn't go over the top. It doesn't try to serve more than it is, and it isn't over-engineered to the point of obsurdity.
For something to truly be designed well, it has to be designed well to the core. Even if it looks simple on the surface, if the internal workings of an element are overly complex or badly designed, then it fails the test. To the last layer, every project I work on is designed with intention and relentless attention to detail. The principles of good design are carried down to every level.