Thoughts on Engineering, Photography, and Design.

Hey, I'm Ryan Heath. I design & develop things for a living and play with cameras for fun. This is where I share my thoughts on all of that — and probably more — along the way.

The craftman’s desire for quality poses a motivational danger: the obsession with getting things perfectly right may deform the work itself. We are more likely to fail as craftsmen, I argue, due to our inability to organize obsession than because of our lack of ability.

A quote by Richard Sennet
Modern Day Craftsmanship

I design and build software for a living. There’s a lot of care and attention to detail that goes into software and design. And that’s what I do. It’s my craft.

Generally speaking, working in this industry has sharpened my eye. I seem to notice (and care) more and more about the detail that was put into everyday things. But I have to question if today’s “craftsman” can compete with those of the early days?

For example, I’m still in awe of the old, classic muscle cars. They’re timeless in a lot of ways. What cars of today will my grandkids look back on and wish they had? Even the latest Mustangs and Camaros are paying homage to the classic designs.

And what about music? Some of my favorite songs come from artists before my time. Subjective, I know, but I can’t help but wonder what music from today will still be selling in 40 years? I certainly don’t think Bieber Fever will last that long.

Maybe one of the most disappointing observations of all comes from modern day homebuilding. It’s just not the same. On the grand scale homebuilding has lost something. There’s no character or charm, rooms are just boxy and boring. That single-family, two-story bungalow with the wide porch pillars, tall baseboard, and detailed moldings is hard to find these days. If that’s your style, you might have to buy one built in the 1950s and renovate it.

Being only 31 years old, I realize it’s not entirely fair for me to speak to how they used to do it; but when compared to the craftsman of old, there’s clearly something missing from today’s output.

I believe the solution starts with the individual. We need to bring the craftsman back to craftsmanship. Care about what you do. You won’t be disappointed and the outcome(s) will undoubtedly lead you to a more fulfilled life.