The Designed Life: Oliver Asis

In The Wild

The Designed Life: Oliver Asis

Civil engineer, photographer, and cyclist Oliver Asis appreciates the intersection of life, art, and the outdoors better than most.

In our latest post for The Designed Life, read on to learn more about Oliver, why he’s striving for a more bikeable city, what influences him, and where he’s traveling when able to do so.

As a civil engineer, a photographer, and a cyclist, you can appreciate the intersection of life, art, and the outdoors better than most. For you, what connects them all?

For me the connection between civil engineering, photography, and cycling is that you need the engineering to provide the infrastructure to cycling so you can see and experience the world. And then when you see and experience the world you need something to document it and for me that's a camera.

You told us about your hopes to make San Diego a more bikeable city. Why is that so important to you?

Making San Diego a more bikeable city is important to me because we need to find more ways to get people out of their cars and improve transportation access for all. For too long we have solely relied on cars to get us around the city and now is a time that we need to make other options more viable. And with a city like San Diego, we have the weather and geography that will provide year round outdoor activities.

Most influential book you've ever read:

The most influential book I have ever read is definitely The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. It made me realize that I do not have to do things in a certain way and that I could pave my own path.

Tell us about your miniature photography project.

My miniature photography project came about because of the pandemic and my wants to travel. When all of our travel plans got postponed or canceled, I still yearned to travel. So one afternoon I decided to travel with my imagination. Having grown up with HO Scale Train sets and now being a photographer I used the miniature pieces and people to create in miniature the places I wanted to visit and then photograph them.

Which of your photos are you most proud of and why?

The photograph of the miniature series that I am most proud of is one that I call: Waterfall Canyon. The reason I'm proud of it is because it proved to me that I could create some fantastic worlds and photograph them in a way that makes it look life size. And it also showed me how far I have come in my photography journey. In creating that photo I used all the knowledge I gained over the years and combined them into that one photo.

Tell us about your bike(s)!

I only have one bike. It's a Pure Cycle Adventure Bike. I love it. When I got it, it was important to me to get a bike that was "locally" made and I found that in Pure Cycles, based in Los Angeles. My Adventure Bike gives me the flexibility to commute to work on the roads and to go on adventures to the canyons, trails, and beaches in San Diego.

Favorite Topo product?

My favorite wearable Topo product is my red Anorak Jacket and my favorite bag is my Classic Duffel. My Anorak is honestly a showstopper, comfortable, and the most versatile piece for everyday use and for traveling. And the Classic Duffel is the perfect size for all my traveling needs. It honestly fits everything I need for traveling and keep me light and flexible.

As an avid world traveler, you must be itching to get out there. What's the first trip you'll take once you feel safe doing so?

Once I get green light to travel again, the first trip I would love to take a trip to Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

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