What I see defines me: in this case, feather canyons in the air, and on the ground!

What I see, defines me.

 Ruth Malan       



My various "Traces in the Sand"

- My Architecture Journal

- Architecture Action Guide Book Draft

- Trace in the Sand blog

- - Resources for  Architects


Video: PICTURE IT: The Art of Drawing People In (June 20, 2009)

Ruth: looking at life through various lenses: camera, journal, sketches... What you make of it, depends a lot on how you frame it up.




















Professional Interests

Professionally, I am hugely interested in anything to do with the field of architecture, from patterns and architectural mechanism design on the technical side, to creativity, leadership and strategy on the "soft skills" side. My professional interests are well-documented on the www.bredemeyer.com site, which is in good part my work.

Personal Interests

The Cottage Revolution: The Industrial Revolution heralded the swing away from cottage industries to factories as the major force of production. The cottage producer was rendered powerless to compete on price, convenience, and even quality and innovation, by the economies of scale, specialization in skills, and mechanization, then automation, in factories. These factors, together with the emergence of a transportation industry that changed distribution economies, and later the information revolution that further streamlined on-demand inventories, yielded giants like GE on the manufacturing side, and Wal-mart on the retail side, of today's mass production-mass consumption equation.

Yet even as these corporate giants have amassed the economic strength and global power equivalent to that of nations, a new force is emerging to challenge them. I am giving this force a name, and it is the Cottage Revolution. It is the power of one, aggregated over huge numbers, that will challenge the industrial era giants. The web provides the technological substrate for a big boom among cottage industries. Rapidly growing acceptance of web-lubricated commerce provides the necessary social underpinning. At the same time, increasing distribution of wealth, with greater disposable income among greater proportions of the population, is shifting value centers away from low cost, mass-produced goods to hand-crafted items with individual appeal.

Travel:  I love to travel. There's always a tension between going to some new place, or back to a favorite; and of course the budget/time constraints are layered upon those. My travel snaps don't do justice to all the wonderful places I have been fortunate to spend time in. Our work takes us all over the world, and we can take our writing anywhere--for example, the Role paper we did for Cutter was written in Ireland.

What I do in my spare time: Mostly, I spend it with my family. It is fun, and I have learned to open up my interests in all kinds of ways. For example, in the first decades of my life I had been on countably few trains, while in the last 10 years I have been on uncountably many! I never "had time" to draw or paint before. But, keeping the kids company while they drew, I discovered that I could do better than I expected. And sometimes I write poetry; the poems I most like are those that spring full-formed into my mind; they're just there, gifts from my sub-conscious. 

I love to kayak and hike, and would far rather hike a business meeting than sit through one! And I love this age of digital photography where anyone can take a good shot (it's the number of poor ones that separate the good from the bad photographer). Dana and I take enough that I like, that our office wall is covered with 13x19 poster-sized photos from hikes in many wondrous places around the world, including around Bloomington, Indiana, where the forested, rolling countryside is quite lovely. It's not the Coast Range we used to hike as part of our routine when we lived in Moss Beach (about 30 minutes south of San Francisco, on the coast), but it makes for a much more visually interesting work-out than a stair-stepper or treadmill!

Still, in truth, I don't have much spare time, being a certifiable workaholic. Fortunately my work takes me on interesting journeys of the mind and heart, and my family is the center I return to. If I get distracted and forget, they happily remind me that they are my joy as well as my duty.




Copyright 2004-2009 by Ruth Malan
URL: http://www.ruthmalan.com
Page Created: December 31, 2004
Last Modified: October 20, 2011