Deadtree Design came about, simply enough, because I had a lot more fun designing than building. I also discovered that I had a talent for it. That was around 1978, and it set me on a course of learning, doing and expanding my range and capabilities.
That’s not to minimize the importance of having been a builder: the hands-on experience of constructing a variety of buildings in different locals exposed me to multiple disciplines and a wealth of practical knowledge.
Ironically, much of my early formal education was in drafting and design. But I was far too young to pursue that course and wind up sitting at a desk the rest of my life. Instead I took to the highway and to wilder and wilder places. It was Alaska where I finally took root, got married and started a design business five years after arriving.
Today Deadtree Design is all that you see in these pages and much more. A person can literally stand anywhere in downtown Haines, Alaska and not see at least one building Deadtree wasn’t involved in designing or building. It’s also more comfortable for me to sit at a desk these days.
I’m sometimes asked where the name came from. And sometimes I’ll even give a straight answer. In truth the name came from an actual dead tree. In defense of my questionable sanity I can only say that the thing had lots of character. To wit, I built my studio near it so that I could continually admire its inherent, um, “deadness”. Sadly, there’s no deeper symbolic meaning apart from what others (sometimes mockingly) ascribe to it.