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Welcome to my personal website, here I’ve gathered information about subjects and areas of work I find interesting. In general, I like to make things and solve problems. Areas of interest include creating useful quality products and exploring 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 inventing, designing 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. My home room in high-school was a large workshop with mills, lathes, precision-grinders, injection-molding equipment, heat-treating furnaces, etc. At Cal Poly SLO where I studied Manufacturing Engineering Technology the motto is “Learn by Doing”. The Exploratorium science museum where I developed & built biology exhibits has as its mission the creation of interactive experiences that help people better understand natural phenomena & the world around them. 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. In my free time I like to tinker and sketch out inventions that I hope to have more free time to build at some point. I’m very interested in finding ways to improve the human/machine interface – the ergonomics of what it feels like to touch a computer and what it feels like when the computer touches us.

While I do love working with technology, I feel it’s important to remember that the machine is not an end unto itself, but more 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
January 2024
37°20'N 121°53'W