What’s in the bag: the writer/architect/coder edition


My life is made up of many facets – due, perhaps, to multiple interests that influence my daily living. In writing this post, I decided to distill those many interests into three main areas: writing, architecting, and coding. Those are my principle fields, the ones I choose to spend my time in contemplating things and creating things.

I thought it’d be a fun exercise, both in practicing my vector drawing skills with Illustrator, and in collecting and thinking of the tools I use on a daily basis, to compile this post. These are items I depend on daily to get through my work; they are indispensable to who I am and the things I create.

(I might add that my EarPods are a part of this mix, but didn’t make it to the final cut – maybe because I forget to carry them around with me sometimes).



Music is a big part of my life. My trusy old iPod classic has been a longtime companion, but since I’ve become hooked on SoundCloud, I’ve been using it less. So now it’s mostly relegated to staying in my car, where it powers my driving soundtrack. My iPhone (and sometimes iPad) is the streaming surrogate for my SoundCloud obsession lately.


I write a lot, and find that analogue writing is a great way to distill thoughts and slow things down. My latest Moleskine is the Star Wars “Darth Vadar” edition ruled book, with the inspiring words “Don’t Underestimate the Force” embossed on the cover. I mainly write with a fountain pen in it (a Parker Sonnet with Sheaffer Blue/Black ink, a gift in my final year at high school), but when on-the-go, my trusty Parker Jotter does the trick. I have a great affinity for the Jotter – it’s the only model I’ve ever used since I was in Grade 4, and I carry it with me wherever I go.


As a designer, I keep a simple sketchbook with me for those moments when I need to sketch something to make sense of it. I’m not the best drawer, but little diagrams often help resolve some of the most complex problems, from graphic design ideas to large-scale buildings.

The Hub

My MacBook Pro is central to everything. It’s the machine I use to edit video, animate logos, design everything from wayfinding assets to website graphics to architectural projects for university, to writing blogs, short stories, essays and even my attempts at various novels. Everything I do feeds into this wonderful, dare I say it – magical, machine. Having an iPad Air helps tremendously as a second screen to display concepts or PDFs with tutorials, books or even web pages I’m using for reference. This allows me to keep the MacBook’s screen devoted to the task at hand. I generally run OS X with three desktop spaces to lessen the clutter that can arise from having many windows open at once.

I always maintain that it’s not the tools one uses, but how they use them, that should be important whenever art is concerned. But this setup is what makes me enjoy creating things, imagining things and bringing things to life. I’ll probably change many of these elements as the years go by, but for now I’m really happy with this workflow.


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