John Greg Ball is an artist + designer in Calgary, Alberta. As principle designer at John Greg Ball- Industrial Design Studio his body of work includes: large-scale public art, architectural and urban design, furniture, and product design consulting for private clients.
-Master of Environmental Design (MEDes),Thesis, University of Calgary -2015
-Bachelor of Design (BDes), Industrial Design, University of Alberta -2002
-Bachelor of Fine Art -Transfer Diploma, Red Deer College- 1999
“Since early childhood, I have been fascinated by nature, designed objects, and human behaviour. In the 1980s my love of BMX culture led me to my first job as a bike mechanic, truck driver, then as a carpenter travelling rural Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1997, I began postsecondary education pursuing a passion for the Arts- in the foundations of hand drawing, painting, and sculpture.
Following a Bachelor of Design Degree in industrial design, I worked in various technical capacities in the design industry as a designer, project manager, and architectural technologist in Edmonton and Calgary. During that time I was also a founding member of the Industrial Designers of Edmonton Association (IDEA), and the President of Media, Architecture, Design, Edmonton (MADE). I have collaborated with a variety of groups including: Arthouse Calgary, Beakerhead Festival, Canadian Design Resource, Calgary/ Edmonton Interior Design Shows, Design Exchange in Toronto, Industreal.it, MADE in Toronto, Moco Loco, Museum of the Highwood, The Works Art and Design Festival, and Toronto Interior Design Show.
My deepest interest lies at the intersection between creative thinking, and the technical processes that enable one to realize a vision or concept. At the very core, I am painter and a sculptor. I thrive in creative environments, collaborating with others who share my passion developing ideas to their final form.
Trained as an Artist first, my craft meanders from pencils, brushes and hand carving implements, to more sophisticated digital tools such as computer-aided design (CAD), and CNC fabrication. This inventory of tools allows me to explore and amplify the technical communication of my work through digital images, three-dimensional modelling, simulations, and physical prototyping. I believe strongly that the best projects, no matter the subject, begin with a strong concept- followed by a technically-sound product.
Lastly, I am fascinated with past, present, and future technologies. I find the sophistication of a pre-historic stone tool just as intriguing as the most futuristic of technologies. I am a keen observer of human behavior and fascinated with technologies’ effects on people. Aware that tools and "media" (McLuhan, 1964) are perpetually changing, I am captivated by the idea that “we shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” (Culkin, 1967).
-John Greg Ball, MEDes
McLuhan, Marshall. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: New York American Library.
Culkin, John. (1967). A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan (Saturday Review: March 18).