Choosing Enduring Design Over Technology

“Dad…you DO realize you could have bought us all iPads instead of that table, right?”

This was coming from my daughter a couple years ago, who was on an ongoing gadget campaign.

I withheld my usual retort of pointing to the “acres of diamonds” in our backyard. She and her brother could earn the money themselves in a week. (We live right on the crossroads of all lemonade drinkers in the Midwest…one summer, the kids sold cups for a quarter and made $35 in two hours!)

Instead, I seized the chance to teach the value of craftsmanship and enduring quality over cool technology. (Don’t get me wrong… I love Apple and feel they bring craftsmanship and thoughtful design to all they do…)

The Right Reasons.

“We bought this table for a special occasion,” I explained. “We’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, and we want something that will last a long time.”

Never ones for tradition, my wife and I already had our china from 10 years ago, and the modern option of platinum didn’t appeal to us. We agreed to return to our favorite getaway, the Amana Colonies, to pick something special to symbolize our enduring love.

“Mom and I wanted something beautiful for our home – something we could see and touch every day to remind us of our love. Like the Amana clock on our mantle there.” I pointed and it chimed on cue – that got a laugh from both of them.

Quality Takes Time.

“So when does the table get here?” my son asked.

“In four months,” I said, smiling at their looks of astonishment. I tried to spin a story about elves descending from the surrounding Iowan hills to build our table, but they stopped me short with their matching deadpan stares.

“Okay, no elves, but it really does take four months,” I explained. “You see, they make every table, clock or chair by hand in that workshop we saw. Remember that?”

“That’s part of what makes that table, and any handmade furniture, so special. A craftsman – who is a sculptor or an artist – selects each piece of wood, cuts it, puts it all together, shapes it and finishes it.”

“All for our table – for our home,” I continued (I was on a roll now), “And if we take good care of it, it will last a lifetime. And one day, we’ll pass it on to one of you. That’s why it’s called heirloom furniture.”

Proud of myself for another successful clinic from Dad, I smiled into their thoughtful faces shining back at me. Then my daughter asks, “So, like, can I get an iPad for my next birthday?”

Ah well, we had to have another teaching moment a few months later, when the table arrived…

It Matters.

At CMBA, we know your building project is important to you, your community and everybody who will use the building.

Sure – We embrace and adopt new technology in our daily practice, all in an effort to help ensure your project is a success.

We know it’s more than just a building to you, and that matters to us. We want to work with you to make sure you have an enduring design and finished project that will serve you and the end users for years to come.

Let us know if you have a project in mind. Or, if you know of another perfect fit for CMBA that might be looking for a partner to help create their next enduring design, we would love to hear from them, too.