Design Decisions

Design Decisions

Okay so I’m a sucker for design, especially modern design.

I could stare at Dwell for hours.

Frankly, I find great beauty in the clean lines and sharp definition; I feel peace when I see the discipline of editing and minimalism.

(p.s. These things are not always present in my life.)

One of the striking features about excellent design is the forethought that goes into material selection and function. Over and over again, you can see this played out in spaces with features that actually look better now than they did when they were new (in some cases maybe 40 or 50 years ago).

In other words, good designers make choices today with the future in mind. They are asking, “How will this doorknob, this pull, this frame look when it has been used 5,000 times by children’s hands…

…when it has been beaten by the wind…

…when it has been broken and repaired…

The point is this: The best design decisions—and materials—age well. It’s not about price or perfection, it’s about what a building, or a piece of art (or anything with intentional design) will look like when it has aged. When “life has happened” to it.

This is profoundly similar to our lives.

Most of our lives—both in terms of our “stuff” we have and the decisions we make—isn’t designed to age well, if at all. 

We buy for the short term; we organize and decide for the here and now.

Cheaply designed bookshelves break rather than age…

Hasty choices can be the same way. 

But what if we took a step back and asked, “What are the one year implications for the way my life is designed now?”

How will my life’s “design decisions” age over five years? Ten? Twenty?

Because that is the evidence of good design. We’re not supposed to look perfect; but we do have the opportunity to show the scratches and weathering of good use and design with a long view.

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds on a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is build on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds his house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (Jesus, Matthew’s Gospel, 7:24-27)




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