Design with the Whole Counsel of Scripture
In churchianity, we want our pastors to preach "the whole counsel of Scripture". We want our counselors to advise based on "the whole counsel of Scripture".
But what about our designers? Should they design according to "the whole counsel of Scripture"? If so, where does it stop? What about our plumbers? Our physicists? Our lawyers and physicians?
Many who work for a living with an aim at following the precepts of Scripture would find Paul's exhortations in the epistles and the preacher's admonitions in Eccelesiastes' to be enough.
"Do everything with all your heart as unto the Lord." "Don't work for your boss's eyes, but because the Lord sees."
"Enjoy your work for the few years God has given you under the sun." "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."
I can't believe that the one activity most of us find ourselves wrapped up in for the bulk of our lives is only touched on narrowly and in direct terms in Scripture. The Bible is too robust, too dynamic, too interested with the full spectrum of God and humanity to dispense with work so straightforwardly. No, I know there's a much more subtle, nuanced, adroit handling of this all-encompassing aspect of existence.
From beginning to end of Scripture, there's a lot to be said about work. And on top of that, there's even something to be said of the kind of work I do: Design.
Design is not mere ornamentation. Hire an artist if you want your wall decorated. Hire a designer if you want your wall to exist peacefully within a larger context for a larger purpose.
Designers are in the game of constraints. The wall has to hold so much weight. It must withstand so much of the elements. It must support so much shelving, connect to so many other walls, allow for so much clearance, contain so much insulation, etc. The wall must be producible at a realistic cost, reproducible across a system of production, and repairable in case of damage. The wall must convey meaning to those who take shelter within it. It must say: "I'm safe; stand by me. I'm comfortable; take a load off. I'm adaptable; paint me."
Designers are constantly weighing their decisions against these and many other factors, indeed so many factors that designers are limited only by their imagination and time.
A designer could (and indeed this designer has) spend hours and hours contemplating the significance of a single line.
This is design. And this is the kind of thing that the "whole counsel of Scripture" is not silent on.
And this interaction between faith, Scriptures, belief, and the work of design is what I'll be exploring in Dispencing.