(Regent World) Rodger Woods–Designed to Work, Designed to Worship

I studied architecture after a degree in math and physics because it appeared to be one of the few available professions for generalists. Finding the prospect of specialization in alternative pursuits claustrophobic, I went for it.

As a student, I became aware of the responsibility of making decisions about the built environment on behalf of others. What right do developers and designers have to create potentially manipulative spaces? Even projects with benevolent intent such as public housing in Europe and America has ended up as destructive to their users. To a conscientious designer, the assumptions implied in making decisions that will be formative to users are almost immobilizing in their intensity. It appeared to me that the nature of being human was fundamental to this discussion and that one could only proceed in this profession with a robust and convincing understanding of what it means to be human.

At this time, I came in contact with Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker who convinced me to build environments that remind users they are created in the image of God. This thought has immediate implications in terms of materials and scale. The idea that humans are made for relationship implies that I have a right, and maybe even a duty, to use this criterion both in the design and operation of my practice. Consequently, much of my business life and design work has had the intention of fostering relationships and community.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Architecture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology