Design Portfolio

My design portfolio reflects my drive to solve problems. I'm solution focused. The purpose of design is to create working solutions. From user interface and user experience design to the build environment good design works. Bad design hurts.

From small business branding and websites to domestic solutions for laundry and lower energy consumption I am focused on designing more resilient, better working systems which help people and don't harm the planet.

Design isn't all pencils and rulers. Design is studying the problem, looking at the systems that are at play, understanding the variables, and creating a solution that works efficiently and effectively.

Don The Builder

Web Design

WDO Photography  [2007 - current]- my commercial photography website is a prime example of my web design skills. I've managed both and on WordPress since 2007. Additionally I've been dozens of websites for small and midsized organizations and events. Find a list of my most recent sites below.

When doing web design I prefer content management systems such as WordPress. This allowed me to teach my clients how to manage their own website. Thanks to WordPress and other companies such as SquareSpace the practice of managing own's own website is common and fairly easy.

I use WordPress because of the flexibility that it gives me as a visual designer. I can change or adjust far more aspects of a design with WordPress than with Wix or SquareSpace. There are more and more add-ons or plugins that do everything you could ever want with any of these systems. WordPress still has an advantage as they have far more plugins and many are free or low-cost due to how long the platform has been around.

I recently redesigned the WDO Photography website. Today the site gives visitors a greater choice of the types of photography that I'm doing. When the pandemic started I was doing more events than anything else but since I've transition to more portraits and more teaching.

Another recent success is the New East Cinema Symposium website. This symposium of films from the cold-war era Soviet aligned countries was previously named the Russian Film Symposium. When the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine in February of 2022 the organizers at the University of Pittsburgh asked me to quickly work with them to rebrand the event which had always hosted cinema from Russia and beyond. This new name, new branding, and redirection away from the imperialist past and current state of Russian foreign affairs was long overdue but I was happy to help design the new website nonetheless.

WDOphoto Website

Web Design Examples

The following is a list of websites which I've designed recently and of clients whom I've worked for in the past.

Teddy To The USSR - this is the accompanying website to the podcast Teddy Roe Goes To The USSR. Teddy, a US citizen, had a fascinating time traveling throughout the USSR in the 1970s. I created a website that has the feel and nostalgia of the era but that is easy to access and get information from.

New East Cinema - the long time film symposium, a project of the late Dr. Vladimir Padunov and the University of Pittsburgh's Slavic Dept. I organized over 20 years worth of Dr. Padunov's hard work into a user friendly website that showcases the amazing cinema of the Soviet and post-Soviet/Eurasian world along with scholarly articles on each film. 

3D DesignLandscape Design

Landscape Design

As a certified permaculturist I've been interested in landscape design and natural systems since I was a kid. I plan to build my own home and have a finished design. My focus is not only the home itself but the landscape around the house. I want to build a homestead that provides a lot of food and other benefits including shade in the summer and wind protection in the winter.

If you're not familiar natural buildings are climate appropriate homes that use natural materials. In some areas buildings are made of earthen materials (stone, adobe, cob, rammed earth) and are more efficient than conventional homes. The materials are also easier to gather locally. In other areas straw bale homes make far more sense and in others still an abundant supply of timber makes wood homes the clear choice.

I've submitted designs for park and natural spaces and helped design gardens for private clients. I've designed projects to help property owners and public entities to improve their land use, redirect runoff to benefit the landscape, and create habitat for people and animals. Much like my other design work the focus here is on creating systems that are resilient, self-replicating, and that helped both the human and non-human users of these spaces.

Physical Design

My physical design practices include home building, woodworking, and book binding. I'm someone who loves to create systems that are regenerative, heal the planet, people, and other living beings, and that are resilient. I've designed and built all sorts of things in the physical world from shelves and hampers to decks and whole houses from wood, straw bales, and earthen materials.

I've sculpted objects from clay and designed physical objects such as packages and books. I quite enjoy book binding and the art of designing book covers. I've created several books including designing and building a copy of River Song's diary from Doctor Who.

River Song's diary was one of my all time favorite design projects. Sourcing the materials to create the cover wasn't easy. Getting the cover right and making the three-dimentional shapes of the TARDIS found on the book was another challenge. The book was created for friends as a baby book to chart the growth of their child and to record things for her to know in the future.

Nature Photographer Don Orkoskey

Your Design Needs

What are your design needs? What problems are you facing and how can I help you resolve them? Contact me today and let's talk about your needs.

Are you starting a new business and need help with branding?

Do you need a new or redesigned website?

Are you having trouble with your landscape? Is it too wet in some places, dry in others, are you dealing with erosion, invasive plants, or pests issues?

I can't solve every problem but I can solve many. If you're struggling contact me and let me help you or suggest someone to you who can help.