Civilise the Mind, But Make Savage the Body

Part 1 of a martial arts journey through life

"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. Pop culture opened a doorway into something much more profound than I ever would have imagined.


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The Drawing Man

On my late father, industrial designer Bryon 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.




Batman Because

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. The story arcs and formulaic consistency — even those bordering on predictability — often provided me with comfort no matter how inconsistent my surroundings were and what I was going through.




Remaking the Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Of the Titanic II and why this time we’re all passengers

"We are the apprehensive passengers on a Titanic II, better informed than our predecessors, equipped with the latest in radar and sonar, but also lacking their touching confidence in their own survival technology. Is it possible that an iceberg might strike twice?" ~ George Nelson

A little over 100 years ago the unsinkable RMS Titanic departed from Southampton, UK, with 2,224 passengers on board. From the wealthiest of the wealthy on the top decks to the sweat and toil of the boiler rooms below, the Titanic represented a microcosm of the industrial age.



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Impossible Story

On my late friend and mentor, Imre Molnar

One day in 2004 I sat in the auditorium of the Walter B. Ford building at Detroit’s College For Creative Studies watching a video on the electronic waste epidemic in China. Presented to students by the college’s Dean, Imre Molnar, the video showed the horrific results of our disposable culture; mounds of computers, cell phones and appliances of all kinds being dumped in villages and fields under the auspices of ‘recycling’. As the video ended, Imre proposed that the environmental and human costs of consumption and obsolescence were responsibilities of the industrial designer to mitigate. 

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The Aesthetics of Irrelevance

The Lamborghini Egoista and the death of car design

Not known for their self restraint, Lamborghini’s admittedly self-serving concept to mark their 50th anniversary was no exception. At a glance, the Egoista (Italian for ‘selfish’) appears to be an outrageous evolution of the automaker’s stealth-inspired design language, hinted at with the Reventon and refined to near perfection with the Aventador. But spend a few more moments scrutinizing the Egoista in all it’s faceted glory and it looks more like an ill-refined design school project than a resolved interpretation of the brand.

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© copyright 2018 Leon Fitzpatrick