Chris is the Board President of Christopher Kids as well as President and Principal Architect of Christopher Architecture & Interiors. Chris and his team at CAI brainstormed for years how to best use their talents as architects and interior designers to serve children in need. Above all, the decided mission was simple: to serve children through design. We sat down with Chris and asked a few questions about the inspiration and purpose behind Christopher Kids, and why he is passionate about serving children through design.
Why do you especially want to help children who are disadvantaged, have a serious illness or some other challenge? Why is that meaningful for you?
I feel strongly that we should be compassionate towards the marginalized, oppressed and disadvantaged. Jesus commanded His followers to “…permit the children to come to me…” Mark 10:13-16. Of all in our society, few are overlooked more than children with significant life challenges whether infirmities, illnesses or impoverishment.
I have young children of my own and I often consider how it would make me feel if they were to suffer. It breaks my heart to imagine them growing up with such challenges. God has placed this mission on my heart and blessed me with a passion to help. I want to be a good steward of this passion and have witnessed the deep-rooted desire in the hearts of our team at Christopher Architecture & Interiors to use our gifts to help others. So many of our staff and team have young children which etches a deep compassion and provides a common thread within our office family.
How can design improve the quality of life for someone?
We strongly believe that providing meaningful spaces is a key contributor to quality of life and wellbeing. This axiom transcends generational barriers and is scientifically proven. For example, creating spaces which engage natural light can transform a child’s personality, happiness, and impact their health –
“Bright light boosts mood and concentration. It may help prevent disease, circadian rhythm disorders, and near-sightedness. And new research suggests that bright light has a crucial impact on the brain: It may foster the formation of new synapses, and enhance our ability to learn.” GWEN DEWAR, PH.D., [stated in Parenting Science.]
Why are hope, joy and imagination so important to kids -- especially those with illness or other challenges?
Hope is natural to how we are created and a crucial element to everyday life. Hope is often stolen from disadvantaged children and that loss exacerbates grief. When hope is lost, joy is lost as well. When hope is instilled, joy is reborn, and that rebirth goes hand-in-hand with imagination. Even as adults optimism is built on hope based in imagination.
Design can, and should, stimulate imagination and foster hope. When children look at a tree house, they envision what their souls need to see. Through Christopher Kids, we want to instill hope and joy through creativity to supply the hope, joy, and imagination these children deserve.
To learn more about our mission and how you can help, click here!