And the solutions to that problem.

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On my very first day of design school, during my first class, the first thing that came out of my teacher’s mouth was the statement that ‘design was all about problem solving’. We were then told to go off and design an alarm clock.

Now for many of us, waking up on time may actually be considered a problem. But clocks that make loud ringing noises at pre-programmed times have been around since the 1800’s. Before this natural solutions prevailed; the sun, roosters, small children, and the fear of being eaten by predators while sleeping did a pretty good job…


A mind-opening voyage through the Philippines

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Sibuyan Sea, the Philippines

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Why a school isn’t a place, it’s a people.

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I’ve been giving some thought lately to the difference between school and education. The word ‘education’ – like ‘lecturing’ – feels increasingly representative of a one-sided approach to learning. To be educated, or lectured at, is to have knowledge delivered downstream…and that’s that. Semantics, maybe. But both words remind me of sitting in a classroom I didn’t want to be in, with a teacher I didn’t like droning on about something I didn’t care about. …


Part 1 of a martial arts journey through life.

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(photo by Leon Fitzpatrick)

Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.

— Bruce Lee

My interest in martial arts began at an early age watching Monkey Magic reruns, and for my first ever halloween I dressed up as a ninja (it rained so heavily that I had to go most of the night unmasked, making me technically no longer a ninja). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bruce Lee movies also had a lasting impact. …


Of life, death, design, irreverence, travel, and drawing big.

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Bryon Fitzpatrick in his studio in Brisbane, Australia, 2014 (photo by Leon Fitzpatrick)

“People see things…but they don’t really observe.”

I heard him say this more than once. Everything is a lesson in light, form, and proportion — if you have the wit to observe it. The same could be said about the difference between hearing music and actually listening to it. But to my father, Bryon Fitzpatrick, an industrial designer whose precision with pen and marker had earned him the title The Drawing Machine, observing everything with a critical eye was as much a worldview as it was a professional skill.

By the time I was born, my dad had already achieved…


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Originally published via Evil Monito Magazine, 2009

On December 19th 2009 I received a short e-mail from my brother Conan on the ground at the Copenhagen Climate Conference. Time stamped at 2am it read: “Looks like no deal on COP15…at least not the one everyone was aiming for.” Filming a documentary that had already a year in the making, the project had taken him and production crew of 3 others from New York to the Congo and everywhere in between, following key players along the road leading to the largest ever conference of its kind. …


It’s hard to make a decision about anything these days. We’re assaulted with conflicting information that muddies the waters between fact and opinion, and often enough it’s easier to go in search of a distraction instead of properly understanding an issue. Perhaps it’s why clickbait headlines and infotainment are more popular than stories with substance. So while it is hard to make a decision about what you believe in — it’s even harder to make a point about it.

Despite years of glaringly obvious evidence, in the court of public opinion climate change has only recently been judged to be…


Twenty sixteen,
A sh** show it’s been,
Time for a short reflection,
Before we next roll up our sleeves.

The greatest is gone,
The purple rain has let up,
The Sheriff of Nottingham departed,
But the losses get even more f**ked up;
The leader of the rebellion,
The one who gave us Faith,
Dark matter’s discoverer passed,
The starman left the Milky Way.

The climate changed,
The ‘debate’ reached an end,
If you have skepticism remaining,
Consider us no longer friends. …


..forgive me if it goes astray.
It hurts me just to type this,
It’s a struggle to know what to say.

Seems like ones and zeros,
Are spilling out everywhere.
Pointless thoughts caged in pixels,
Released only if my fingers dare.

Below a surface of perfection,
Awaits the splinters of the deep unknown.
But perhaps I’m only calling to attention,
That I just dropped my f**king phone.

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Of Anonymity and the Self

“In an era where celebrity is the most sought-after prize in life, we can barely comprehend that there might be those who would go to any length to preserve their anonymity.” ~Bruce Thomas

As a child who experienced their fair share of moving and disruption, it was comic books of all kinds that I often found solace in. Characters like Batman, Superman, and Spiderman (not to mention Tintin and Asterix), always did their thing, met their challenges, and overcame the odds. …

Leon Fitzpatrick

Design Doing/Future Things www.leonfitzpatrick.com

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