This is my personal website, where I’ve gathered information about subjects and areas of work I find interesting. In general, I like to make things and solve complex problems. Areas of interest include creating useful high-quality products and exploring innovations in the fields of design, manufacturing, human factors, information technology and sustainable living. I enjoy designing & building furniture and other everyday objects with a focus on ergonomics and usability.

A common thread through my life has been a passion for designing, inventing, and building things with a hands-on approach. When I was 12 I converted a chicken-coop in our backyard into a metal/wood-working shop. The “home room” at my high-school was a large workshop with mills, lathes, surface-grinders, injection-molding equipment, heat-treating furnaces, etc. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I studied Manufacturing Engineering Technology, has as its motto “Learn by Doing”. At the Exploratorium, a science museum with a mission to create interactive experiences helping people better understand natural phenomena & the world around them, I developed and built biology exhibits. During the founding of Noisebridge, a collaborative learning space in San Francisco for technical-creative projects, I helped build out the workshop.

Over the course of my career I’ve been responsible for the design, development, and manufacture of medical devices, scientific equipment and consumer products. My current position involves mechanical design work in the medical device field.

When I have time, I like to tinker with Free/Open-Source software (these days mostly just extending my Emacs setup) and explore ways to improve physical aspects of the human/machine interface. And by this I mean not only the ergonomics of what it feels like to touch a computer, but what it feels like when the computer touches us.

Though I love working with machines, I feel strongly that the machine is not an end unto itself, but rather a vehicle that takes us somewhere. How can our relationship with technology lead us towards a better place? How can we build more human-friendly machines?

John Magolske
October 2016
37°23′22″N 122°4′55″W