Design

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“Fifteen years ago companies competed on price. Now it’s quality. Tomorrow it’s design.” - Robert Hayes

“At Sony we assume that all products of our competitors have basically the same technology, price, performance and features. Design is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the marketplace.” - Norio Ohga

“Design is treated like a religion at BMW.” - Fortune Magazine

“We don’t have a good language to talk about this kind of thing. In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. … But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation.  -  Steve Jobs


A few thoughts:

1. We live in an increasingly visual world which is feature of postmodernity. Symbol has been resurrected as a powerful element of communication.

2. Design is not just a matter of “taste.” There is good design and bad design. Value can be placed on design just as it can on art which is a component of design.

3. Good design is not a socio-economically determined value. It is also a value that we see exhibited in every culture.

4. Post-reformation Protestantism (in the West) has been notoriously design (and art) poor, depending rather upon words and literary devices as the primary means of communication.

5. Architecture, graphics, interior space, decor, dress, all are tremendously influential not just in influencing individuals but in shaping movements.

6. Whether Steve Jobs or BMW realize it or not, design is one of the great evidences of the imago dei. We design and our souls respond to such innately because we are reflections of the great designer Himself.

I’ve taken my share of lumps over the years because design, look, feel, and ambiance, are all important to me. I believe the non-verbal communicates more powerfully than what one says or writes. Words may sway the mind, but art has the potential to touch the soul.

3 Responses to “Design”

  1. Ed Says:

    Sam,

    It’s easy to meditate on the majesty of God when one is hiking the mountains of Colorado where the grandeur, beauty, and simplicity of nature inspire both heart and mind. Most of my time outdoors, however, is limited to the daily commute on the train to and from work. So I’ve been actively trying to “see” God in the mundane details of every day life and it’s awkward.

    I’m encouraged by your observations and commentary on how we design and our souls respond accordingly. I anticipate less guilt when I innately respond to good design that comes from an act of commerce :-) You’ve given me something to chew on here.

  2. YouthMinistryTV.com » Blog Archive » Good post on design Says:

    [...] Sam Metcalf has a great post on design over on his blog. Here are some excerpts: Whether Steve Jobs or BMW realize it or not, design is one of the great evidences of the imago dei. We design and our souls respond to such innately because we are reflections of the great designer Himself. [...]

  3. Bug Says:

    hi, i just read all your blog entries. i like the ones about god the most.

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