I'm a graphic designer and writer in Northern Ireland. Welcome to my blog.

Lifework

I recently had chat with Cerentha Harris, editor of Herman Miller’s Lifework blog.

She asked me about transitioning from an office environment to working from home, how this affects my work, and a few other things. Read the short interview here: Tour: graphic designer David Airey.

David Airey workspace

Update: 26 January 2012
Here’s a nice read on the BBC website where Glynn Orchin, a South African businessman, describes his adopted home, Bangor (where I live): From KwaZulu-Natal to Bangor.

My second book on Amazon

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20 comments about “Lifework”

  1. I love the photo of your home office! Looks very organized and clean. Reminds me that I need to do some major cleaning and organizing this week with my dinner-table-turned-computer-desk area. :) Now, I’m gonna go read your interview.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I just read your interview and am back to leave a comment here. I enjoyed reading the entire article and really loved it when you said:

    “…there’s one main aspect that keeps me going: I hope that one day I can fully support a family of my own, and if I’m to do that, I know I need to keep improving, keep streamlining my process, keep learning new skills, new approaches.”

  3. so wonderful to hear.
    and yes, the work-room is just.. too clean. wow. almost poetic even – i can almost hear my desk mutter “unfair!”
    :)

  4. I see a clean and simple layout, apple, a pencil, a book, a man and his simple mind.

    With love, this is also my personal ideal working environment. As a Chinese designer, staying UK itself is a challenge, however, today your image and ‘passion and focus’ are really encourage, they clam me down. I will just go for it no matter where I will be in the future. Just like you :D

    David, you’re my prototype.

    Regards,
    Adam.Qi

  5. Steve Jobs would be proud of how clean that office is! (His office at Pixar consists of a desk with almost nothing and two chairs).

    Enjoyed the interview as well.

  6. Hey David! How well, really, does that Mighty Mouse work on that shiny table? :)

    My iMac 24 died and I got a MacBook Air 13′, and I’m shocked that I love it!

  7. Glad you enjoyed the read, Jessica. Hope you’re having a great weekend, too.

    Adam, your prototype VI? Respect for moving to a foreign country for work. Feel free to get in touch if there’s anything you think I can help with.

    Doug, I have some plastic coating under the mouse and keyboard. Helps keep the finger prints off. Is the Air your main workstation? I’ve seen a few other designers make that switch — Frank Chimero’s post was a good read.

  8. HI, David your home office looks great. keep it up.

  9. great office to join work ;)

  10. Great office set up, very nice and neat. It has the perfect look and feel of an Apple ad.

  11. Hello David,

    Just read the Lifework article, brilliant. I was wondering if you could share a couple of more things with us? Could you explain what is on your desk, just out of interest? It looks a great setup David. A bigger monitor crossed my mind recently and I was wondering if there are better monitors than the one I have, I use a PC.

    Thank you

    Best wiswhes
    Graeme

  12. Oh sorry for the confusion!
    As I know, lifestyle shows how professional designers are. Your photo are really impressive. So what I really mean is, I’ve seen you as the design role model, since I started my design journey.

    If choose 2 words from my vocabulary to describe the idea behind your style, they would be – emptyness and nature. What will you say?~

  13. Beautifully minimalist office space. Everything seems like it has a usage; nothing has been put without any reason. Love those black&white paintings in black frames hanging on the wall. I just started using Magic Trackpad for my design work and quite like the ease of selection and tracing.
    Read the interview and enjoyed it.

  14. No probs, Graeme. The iMac is a 2.93GHz i7 with 12GB RAM. Beside it there’s a MacBook Pro, 2.66GHz core 2 duo with 4GB RAM — it’s mainly there just to charge, I’d use it when not at the desk. Phone, lamp, wireless router. Sketchbook, pen, water.

    I used to work on a PC, mostly because my old workplace ran them. I think it’s worth spending the extra money on an iMac, though (or you could go the “Air” route like Doug).

    No confusion, Adam. At least, there wasn’t. Rather than emptiness I’d say there’s nothing more than is necessary.

    Deepak, those are a few of my travel snaps on the wall. Good for taking me away. Glad you liked the read.

    Thanks folks.

  15. Amazingly, yes, the 13″ MacBook air is now my main workstation. The SSD alone makes it’s so much faster than the iMac it replaced. From cold boot to mail checked is barely 30 seconds. If find myself with much more “computer” patience. I know I’ll never buy a non-SSD computer again. All apps load in the blink of an eye. Illustrator takes maybe 4-5 seconds. While the screen feels ever so slightly too small, I’m 100% happy with it, going from the 24″ which I thought would be an issue. It’s not. Lion and gestures make you work a bit different. I’m truly surprised!

  16. A very interesting interview David.

    It made me think about my own career path. I currently work for a FX company in Windsor, but I aspire to be a self-employed graphic design like yourself and I do often wonder about the transition from office to working at home.

    P.S Where did you get your desk from? A Mac is easy to find, but I have been struggling to find that perfect desk. Any suggestions?

  17. Hi David,

    Such a tidy office I am jealous, and look at the size of that monitor!

    I guess there are good points and bad points to working at home, the main downside being no human interaction (unless you make time for getting out for a walk).

    An interesting point though – work life balance is very important, working to live etc.

  18. Here’s the desk I’m using, Jamie, with a “cable trunking” shelf at the back.

    Dave, I sometimes need to force myself outside and away from work. It can be too easy to end-up stuck at the desk. No good for anyone. When you have others around you it’s easier to take a break.

  19. Hey David, congrats on the interview.

    This might sound ridiculous but the first thing that struck me from your work space is the absence of a Graphic Tablet. I know it’s not essential to use one to create good work but it looks like your desk is just screaming for one.

    Cheers!

  20. I have quite a tidy work area myself, but it’s the giant screen I can’t stop salvating at. Hubba hubba :D

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