Four years ago today, I sent my first-ever newsletter and announced the launch of my personal website. I only sent two subsequent emails, yet in the intervening years lots of people—including many I do not know!—have signed up. This message is a quick update; there are 388 words below.
My last message, early in the North American experience of the COVID–19 pandemic, included one hundred links to explore. The spirit of that gesture lives on in the work I now do full-time at the design office Frontier, which I joined last autumn. There I am writing a link-filled weekly newsletter, Frontier Magazine, which most often takes the form of a short essay cataloguing an enthusiasm of mine. On Friday, we introduced a podcast I am hosting, and the first episode will be released tomorrow.
Through those channels I advocate for a complementary set of ideas: that humane, ethically produced technologies can nourish our creativity and our social lives; that the built environment can and should encourage individual agency and strengthen local communities; that education efforts mean the most when they respond to people’s interests and motivations, which often happens outside of formal institutions; and that art should be woven through … well, all we do. Those propositions are inflected by Frontier’s thesis that creativity and design accelerate positive change. If you’re interested in these subjects, please sign up for the newsletter and podcast here. I should have shared it sooner; there are nearly fifty issues since it launched in January.
The four years since my first email can seem like four lifetimes. That’s partly due to the pandemic, of course, but also: we renovated our house in Toronto and built a standalone studio for Julia our back; both our boys are now in elementary school, meaning I won’t have to buy (or change!) another diaper for at least a generation; we’ve found our people in this city after nearly seven years of living here; and both Julia and I are invigorated by (as yet unannounced) collaborative projects with friends.
This won’t become a high-traffic list. I have Frontier Magazine for that, and sharing it is the primary purpose of this message. While I have you, though, here are a few of my favorite albums released so far this year.
I’m heading out into a gorgeous early-autumn afternoon. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Until next time,
Image: Heart Lake, near Toronto, this morning.