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John Locke | Left brain, right brain | |
When we can't find a sketch on our desks or a file on the computer, we use the
excuse that our analytical left brain is underdeveloped. Yet we can cook a tasty three-
course meal, micromanage a party, or arrange our clothes in color
groups. Lack of organization in our work is a bad habit, not a miss-
ing gene. Talented creatives who recognize the virtues of organiza-
tion generate precious free time that others waste. Instead of strug-
gling to finish just one thing, they prolifically explore new ideas
and ultimately excel in their chosen field. Architect John Locke is
one of these happy souls. He proves that both sides of the brain can
coexist in perfect harmony.
Locke's creativity is not debatable. He has two beautifully
produced PDF portfolios on Issuu (, one
created for admission to graduate school, the other as a final state-
ment of his work as a graduate stu-
dent at Columbia University. These generate extensive
feedback, particularly from college applicants who ask
for advice or help. He shares a blog of non-architec-
tural projects with his creative partner, photographer
and designer Jackie Caradonio ( His per-
sonal portfolio website ( is the
most comprehensive record of his work, and links to
everything else.
I spent four years work-
ing in an office. When
you have 16 people
ing files from the
same location, you
quickly realize that a
logical filing system is
key to avoiding a lot of
wasted time.
—John Locke
I believe in the Internet as a means
to share information, and hope that
my site is not only a record of my
work, but also part of the global
network of research and mutual
—John Locke
Navigation and architecture
Most people reach from Locke's elegantly designed Issuu
publications. Based on these topics, you expect a certain style of navigation: perhaps
a Flash splash page introducing categories of work, that in turn lead to projects.
Instead, everything in the site loads into one infinitely expanding, vertically scrolling
page. As you explore, it dawns on you that you are looking at something rare: a port-
folio that is both open-ended and extremely well-organized.
There are echoes of a print newspaper both in the site's initial layout and its
sense of immediacy. Above the fold are the main topics, masthead and wayfinding
info. A Twitter feed styled as a bold headline speaks directly to the viewer. Images,
each a link to one of Locke's featured works, fill the bottom half of the window.
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