Ian arrived in Edmonton from his native Scotland in 1971, expecting to return within a few years, after furthering his education in geography. But then he encountered planning and his professional life-course was set. He was effectively 'schooled' in planning while working for the Peace River Regional Planning Commission (1974-1979), where he developed a special interest in regional development planning, which became a focus for his early 1980s PhD studies. With Alberta Municipal Affairs, in the 1980s, he worked at the interface of municipal finance, land use planning, and policy research. This provided the basis for some experimentation with local government consulting practice, and some part-time teaching at EVDS (University of Calgary), before moving to Victoria BC, in 1991, to work for the Islands Trust.
In 1994, drawing on the combination of his PhD and his two decades of diverse professional planning practice, Ian began what became two decades in the planning academy, as an educator of planners, in the Department of City Planning, University of Manitoba. Reinventing himself as a city-region planner, he developed a particular interest in teaching professional planning practice, both of which were much influenced by the planning program's location in a design school. He became an advocate of planning as placemaking, as wellbeing by design. His research interests have increasingly focused on 'evolving professionalism beyond the status quo'. Ian represents his current pre-occupation as 'contemplating the education of the agents of the next Enlightenment', with an emphasis on professional-self design, and the related 'makings' - praxis, ethos and poiesis.
Ian became a member of CIP in 1977, as he found his planning feet in the Peace Country. He was initially active in the Alberta affiliate. His involvement in CIP increased with his move to Manitoba, including membership on the Plan Canada Editorial Board. Ian is particularly proud of his association with some special issues of Plan Canada, especially planning professionalism, as well as his Program Chair role for 2008 CIP Winnipeg. He continues to strive to be a bridge between the academy and the institute, promoting enhanced reflective practice through his praxis-making and ethos-making work.