For six weeks in October and November 2021, Barna’s ChurchPulse Weekly will feature a series— "Making Space." As part of Aspen and Barna’s partnership on new research, Making Space for Formation, the podcast will help start a new conversation among church leaders about the role of physical space in spiritual development and the theology of space. Each week, Derek DeGroot, Aspen VP of Design and Integrated Services, will reflect on the podcast from his seat at the Church Architect’s Desk.
We had a blast celebrating Aspen’s second annual Design Week! We focused on five unique projects our team has worked on in different regions around the country. If you missed it, not to worry—here’s a quick recap:
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Intentionally building a program for individuals with special needs provides your church an opportunity to share the Gospel with individuals of varying abilities and allows them to fully grow in their faith. It also lets the families of those with special needs feel supported, knowing their loved ones feel comfortable and confident in their environment, and are valued members of the church family. The following projects we worked on for Chapelstreet Church's Masterpiece Ministry and Parkview Community Church show how design can help support a special needs ministry:
This post is part two of a two part series in which we explore how design can shape our culture and result in emotionally and mentally supportive environments. One goal of good design is to incorporate a sense of ease and emotional well-being into a space. We move beyond the purpose of simple function to create a more personal interaction and meaningful experience for the user. As we look to design spaces that help churches address needs for things like respite and personal connection, the interplay between the indoors and the outdoors and art and architecture can offer creative and unique solutions.
This post is part one of a two part series in which we explore how design can shape our culture and result in emotionally and mentally supportive environments. Can you imagine that the design of your lobby, sanctuary, and gathering spaces in your church could actually help address the emotional and mental health needs of our culture today? Recent data from Barna underscores a need for churches to bring real solutions to bear on our culture's growing mental health crisis—and the spaces we provide to our congregations and communities can be a powerful tool to help people navigate their anxiety, grief, and depression in order to more deeply connect with others.
When it comes to children’s ministry, Orange is known for its curriculum that emphasizes the importance of combining the influence of both home and church to teach children the Gospel. Orange also thinks broadly about how children and families experience church as a whole. As a Design-Build-Furnish firm, we value collaboration and learning, so recently I attended the local Orange Tour stop with fellow Aspen interior designer, Kristen Freeman, where we learned more about how design can help support children’s ministry.
Waypoint Church in St. Charles, Missouri, has a mission of "Worship. Love. Go." This thriving community of faith wanted to adapt their church building to create a cohesive, effective, and engaging ministry space that would allow their congregation to experience a deep and intimate connection with God and others. We partnered with Waypoint on an addition and renovation aligning with these core values of relationships and missional living. Here are five ways we intentionally designed the space to foster discipleship:
As a designer, I think a lot about how the spaces we occupy inherently provoke responses. Our physical body and our mind are often driven to an action based on the physical environment we’re in. If you’ve ever been to an IKEA, you know this to be true. The massive furniture store that originated in Sweden and has now taken over the United States has turned ordinary people into furniture super-shoppers.
This third and final post of a three-part series explores how our Aspen teams apply collaboration and learning to support our unique Design-Build-Furnish approach. Recently, we've talked a lot about our integrated Design-Build-Furnish process, and how this delivery method differs from a Design-Build-Bid approach. One of the factors that makes our DBF process successful is the collaboration between all of the different disciplines that makes up a DBF project. Throughout the process, our design and construction teams at Aspen Group collaborate and share lessons learned in order to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the work we produce. Learning permeates the culture when collaboration between construction, design, estimating, interiors, and other teams is the default way of operating, and in turn, helps us avoid repeating mistakes.
This post is part two in a three-part series where we explore the advantages of our unique, integrated Design-Build-Furnish approach. Every building project comes together by navigating the tension between priorities and constraints—costs and budget, schedule and programming, and vision and scope. A crucial part of choosing a building partner for a project is selecting a delivery method—the process for navigating those tensions as you take a project from concept to a completed building. But how can you know which delivery method your church should choose? In the following post, we’ll review the differences between a “Design-Bid” and a Design-Build-Furnish” approach.