Jon Buscemi and Erwin McManus Talk Design, Faith, Culture & More
 “Millions of people saw the apple drop.  But Newton was the one who asked why.”


Here at The Good Publishing Company, we're continuing to examine and explore the social and spiritual impact of design, creativity and culture— and our obsessive relationship with quality goods. 

We are honored to bring you a compelling conversation between two Newtonian entrepreneurs and creatives – Erwin Raphael McManus and Jon Buscemi – men who have spent their careers asking why the apple dropped.    



Why does design matter?

Does the design of any object give any real, meaningful value to its owner?

Who actually makes the products you purchase?

What is the origin story of those products and why is that important?

Why does the relationship between creativity, culture and community mean something for the future?

Can luxury design and meaningful design coexist? 

How do we become deeply connected to the maker (or, more importantly, the Maker)?

These are but a few of the questions unpacked in this inspiring dialogue between GPC co-founder Jon Buscemi, a globally recognized designer and lifestyle connoisseur and Erwin Raphael McManus, a pastor, author and cultural thought leader committed to the study of genius and the pursuit of God. 

Moderated by Erwin’s son, Aaron, this wide-ranging and engaging conversation covers everything from Buscemi’s Italian deli and his first love of restaurants to the water Jesus turned into wine (and how it had to be the best wine in the world!).

“Everything God creates has incredible quality,” says McManus.  “It has elegance and beauty.  And people who create and make for a living are not just imaginative, but intentional.” 

Erwin goes on to explain how religious expression over time has somehow cheapened the experience of beauty by making it supplemental instead of essential.  

“People like products or objects for different reasons,” says Buscemi, a creative force of nature who has designed countless products and objects, including most recently The GPC Bible.  “For me, it’s not so much about the hype of a product.  It’s when you peel back the onion a bit and learn about that product’s country of origin and the people involved in making it.  For me, I want to know the butcher, baker and candlestick maker.”

Buscemi describes the euphoria of creating something out of nothing, how his design process usually is extracted from the ether in the form of a drawing.  “When you make something, it usually starts with a drawing.  And when that drawing becomes a physical form, something you open a box and discover… you can’t beat that feeling.” 

We learn how the community of artisans who make the products we love becomes the true design and origin stories.  The explorative dialogue continues for 40 minutes, highlighting the dignity and gift of work and how, as Erwin expresses, we are not designed to live without progress.  Rather, to get up in the morning and do work that matters.  

“We are designed to create,” he says. “Human beings are uniquely designed to create futures.”

We look forward to your comments on this unique conversation about how design, creativity and community creates the product of culture (and the future!). 

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