Thursday, November 10, 2011

Church design doesn't have to mean bad design

Manilla paint. Artificial Plants. Pictures of a 33 year old white man hung in vintage brown frames.  Just a few examples of what you're most likely to interact with inside churches across the United States.  Environments that in no way usher you into a visual experience other than 'blah'.  It's as if we took artist and said "hey, think as small as possible or actually don't think at all!"  Christians have this weird mindset that we are supposed to be overly humble and meek; the way we picture Jesus, adorned in a white cloth robe and hugging small children.  I mean come on!  I highly doubt Jesus walked around with a famished frame and a sullen look on his face 24/7.  So why do we think we have to resemble that sullen attitude when designing a space in which to encounter him?


Didn't God create creatives to create?  

I'm thankful to be employed at a church that sees that an encounter with God happens in many realms, and it definitely happens through our senses.  Walking into a space that is intentionally crafted to usher it's people into a place of life, creativity, passion, and reverence, does just that.  And it's not wrong! 

I think it's time that Artist reclaim the church.  

And believe me we have a whole lot of apologizing to do in the process.  Bad design has riddled the church culture, easily throwing us into the dorky, cheesy, and corny categories.  Why would God gift certain people in his body as creative talents if he didn't want us using them.  Below are pictures of Irving Bible Church, the community I am so blessed to be a part of and be offered the opportunity to help shape.  Special attention has gone into these halls, and the attention is on going as we morph and allow our space to change. I'm thankful that IBC has given me such a canvas to create on!  The team of artist and designers on staff as well as in our body are some of what I believe to be the best!  

Town Square's Artist Square.  An open communual space where friends can sit to chat and meetings can be held.
The trees are REAL!  Take note American Churches! Torch the Plastic!

The Story series.  This is a wall installation made of Gustav Dore art.
These painting coincided with a 7 week series on the story of redemption.
The thin red line resembles the fact that the redemption story was written into the plan from the beginning.

Light Box dividers made from left over scraps from
previous projects.  These are cool dividers floating
around the space, as well as displays for art pieces.

Communal hangout area, also see the light box dividers in their home.
Photo display of a 12 week series entitled, 'Peculiar People'.
Trey Hill's photography sets the tone for the space!

Stalk some of the best designers I know who work hard to make good design:
Lindsey Soblick

1 comment:

  1. Love this!!! Nicely done Rachael! IBC is fortunate to have you on staff.

    XO Dana