Saturday, April 16, 2005

Design or designer

I'm an admirer of cars.......Most of the time. I'm an admirer usually until it's time to repair one. I've been cursed with a mechanical aptitude that most of the time won't allow me, in good conscience, to boost my local mechanic into the next higher tax bracket. Too often I find myself cursing the designer of the vehicle when I'm trying to resolve a failure in the design. In the last few weeks I've cursed those who collect paychecks from Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen. Don't worry though. For all of those "buy American first" types reading this. I've cursed my share of Ford and GM engineers as well. The other thing I've been cursed in is a background in engineering, more specifically mechanical engineering. It allows me the opportunity to play God when encountering their designs. I think thoughts like "If I designed this", or "If I planned that". Not being able to see into their minds, I have a hard time understanding why they would have designed their projects in such a way. It's very frustrating to play God. Just yesterday though as I sat in our car wasting a bit of time, I found my mind wandering. Before I knew it, I realized that I was admiring, of all things, different aspects of the design. It wasn't great and grandiose thoughts. It was simple things like the window switch in the door. I was admiring how well the door panels were formed into a cohesive unit. I was admiring the sleekness in the lines. I liked it, and just for a moment I appreciated whoever it was that sat somewhere at a drawing board or computer terminal and first put this design onto paper. It was a great design, but I found myself admiring the designer. Now I live in an area where evidence of an incredible design are all around. This is arguably one of the most beautiful areas on the planet, and I have visited many others through the years. But this is also one of the places least likely to acknowledge a designer. There are plenty who would say that they have a better idea. If they were the designer, things would be different. If there really were a designer, then things would go more according to how they would have designed it or how they understand it to be. The problem is, they don't know what goes through the great designers mind any more than I know what goes through those minds at Honda. It is those moments that I realize that I am not so different from those around me. I'd like to think I am. It's causing me to consider His design in different ways. Right now I'm watching the wind blown leaves from my trees that eventually I'm going to have to get rid of. It's certainly not my preference. It's not how I would have designed it. But I'm thankful for the designer. The world is much better off that I'm not Him.

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