Ian Adamson wrote nearly 50 blog posts in four years. And he really wrote most of them in three years because he didn’t get started on his writing until late in 2013. Over the course of those years and blog posts, Ian explored questions of architecture, technology, pop culture and, of course, cars. What he was most interested in was how all these things intersect. How does emerging technology change our relationship to the built environment? How does one live sustainably? Can you even calculate your carbon footprint?
When Ian finished a post, he’d email it to me and after I’d read it, we’d discuss. What was so fun about editing Ian’s posts were the conversations we’d have – we’d end up swapping recommendations for movies and books the other should watch and read that were tangentially related to the topic at hand. I was delighted when I could make a contribution to one of Ian’s posts, like using a photo of The Onion’s Our Dumb Century to illustrate “Is History Bunk?” Or suggesting simulacrum was a relevant term in “Living in a Representation World.”
I also loved editing Ian’s posts because I loved to see the connections he’d make between fashion and architecture or Blade Runner and what we see when we dream. I studied at a small liberal arts college and making connections across disciplines was at the core my education and I relished the opportunity to talk to someone who thought that way.
Ian officially retired earlier this year and as a firm we planned to celebrate his career and contributions. When another Principal came to me with the idea to turn Ian’s posts into a bound book, I only wished I’d thought of it! What a great way to honor and celebrate the writing he’d done. Of course, this meant digging in to the archives and sorting through files from years ago to put the book together.
Designing this book for Ian was a true pleasure – it was a fun design exercise, but also a walk down memory lane! As I sifted through my files, I recalled many of our conversations and delighted in rediscovering the way his writing evolved over the years. I also wrestled with how to design a printed book out of material meant to be digested digitally – yes, the posts are predominantly written test, but Ian often relied on illustration to make his point. Did I even have print quality images for all the ideas discussed? It was a fun challenge to step back and look at his work as a whole and develop a design system for the book.
Musings of an Architect, Volume One is a short run print, available in our Payette library. Each essay appears as it first did on the blog and, as a tribute to Ian’s career, we included photos of Ian’s projects throughout the book. We called it Volume One because Ian has continued his writing into his retirement! You can keep up with his musings on his new site, J. Ian Adamson Architect. Perhaps in a few years it will be time to design Volume Two!
Congratulations to Ian on his retirement and for his contributions to the practice of architecture, the built environment and the culture of Payette! We were all so honored to work with you and will miss your writing on our blog. Thank you!