designers and faith

Do you have a faith ? Do you link your faith to your design ?

Thanks !

reedit this: designers and faith. Do you have a religious Faith ? And are you using your Faith as a guide in design ?

Do you mean faith, or Faith?

If you mean faith, yes, I do.

If you mean Faith, no.

Faith… thanks for pointing that out.

Its Faith as in the religious Faith…

I believe in god, I just don’t believe in religion.

If I was going to worship anyone it’d be the sun. :laughing:

big F faith (higher power, reincarnation, heven etc) Nope never have
litte F faith (in that I have done the best of my abilty etc) yup got lots.

George Carlin too!


I’m an atheist, and I can’t fathom theists.

I don’t link my absence of religious faith to design, but I would not design anything related to any kind of manifestations of any major religions. For pretty much the same reasons, I wouldn’t work on a landmine ( or…you get the idea, landmine was a bit dramatic here)…or anything that supports the views I morally oppose.

So design attracts atheists. No wonder we are the world can’t understand us.

My religous beliefs, faith, sprituality or whatever you call IT is so complicated I stopped trying to explain it. I think all religious texts contain great philosophical points which are worthy of reflection by designers however. Especially Taoism:

The thirty spokes unite in the one center; but it is on the empty space for the axle that the use of the wheel depends. Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness that their use depends. The door and windows are cut out from the walls to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space that its use depends. Therefore, whatever has being is profitable, but what does not have being can be put to use.

Maybe I’m attracted to Eastern thought because of transportation. They all heavily use wheels as symbols for different ideas.

On a side note, the most un-creative designer I ever met was also the most fundamentalist. Maybe being an atheist goes with being creative?

I know an architect who designs the furniture for new churches.
Inspiration is inspiration too.

I don’t see how one necessarily includes or excludes the other

I’m agnostic. I believe in the possibility of God, but also that if that possibility is actualized, in my complete inability to fathom it.

The worst designer I’ve ever known was a complete Jesus Freak. Not talking your average religious person, or even your average fundamentalist, but the type that relates anything and everything to Jesus. We were in a typography class together, and any time the assignment had any topical leeway at all, his project became religious. Worse than that, when anyone suggested that he build a little ambiguity into his metaphors to make them speak to a broader range of people, he grew incredibly arguementative and made it clear that he was there to use design to promote one unbending view of life. And he was so focused on promoting that view that he sorely neglected technique.

Now I’m by no means saying that all or even most (or even a statistically significant portion) of religious designers are this way. I’m not really sure what I am saying, other than that religion and design can occasionally produce some very, very bad results.

Growing up in Catholic School we where taught that we could never understand God’s plan or even the concept of God. Surprising how few people listened to what they where saying. IF there is a supreme being, then I’m sure it is much more than any of us could comprehend.

Interestingly, I read a book this year called “Calculating God” by a Canadian SF author that brought up the concept of an imperfect supreme being. Looking at the Greek and Roman’s concepts of Gods, their deities where always imperfect and subject to emotions and misinformed decisions. As are Hindu gods and the gods of most poly theistic religions. It seems to only be in mono theistic religions where the concept of a perfect, and all powerful god arises… and then where does evil come from?

The only thing I can be surely confident of is myself and trying push my own abilities. Trying to be good, not out of fear for my own soul, but because I want to. Because I desire to help make a better humanity for the good of those that come after. Even if I screw up half the time, hopefully I’ll help push the needle a bit… so I guess I believe in that. Doing what is right to the most of your ability because you purely want to.

on a meta level, atheism is an ideology. it provides a worldview that meets the existential even metaphysical needs satisfied by religion.

atheism and agnosticism are not the opposite of religiousness.

it’s a question of which set of mysteries your comfortable with not having any explainations : God’s or Science’s.

Coming from school in the south I don’t think the stereotype is always true, I had a few good friends that managed to keep religion and the rest of their life seperate. They did their church thing, but didn’t walk around preaching to other people. Likewise I know people who were so busy preaching they forgot to actually live their life. So obviously theres a balance.

I do think design in general attracts people who question everything…we look at something and question how to make it better, and the same applies to religious beliefs. Thats why I pray to Joe Pesci, he knows how to get sh*t done. :laughing:

I always believe that Faith and faith should balance off. Afterall we are designing for people who have different thoughts and minds. Many are religious in the world.

It is true that some people could go overboard in their religions and do come up with something that is unacceptable. But that is a very sensitive issue in itself that we must understand.

Personally, I am a free thinker with buddhist influence because of the way I am brought up here. (Singapore is predominantly a Buddhist country which is very similar to some other Asian Countries) I was also brought up in an area where a lot of expats were; and even live with a retired British engineer who took me for his god grand daughter as he had no family of his own. I think I was lucky to have this sort of influence somewhat. Because from a young age, I am exposed to Chinese, British, Malay and Indian cultures and religions. It does open my perspective up. Not to be too closed up for any particular way of thinking or beliefs. It helps me to understand more of different peoples.

I also believe that as designers, we must have both Faith and faith. Its good influence to have. On one hand the scientific faith itself gives you the pragmatic logic that you need in your work. On the other hand, the huge capital F faith offers a spiritual insight to your work. I think it gives soul to the design.— a human touch that speaks volumes.

Japanese design is influenced by religion, by their philosophical thoughts for simplicity and peace their works are one of the most accepted in the world. So are the other designs from other places too.

I too realised that a lot of designers seem to be atheists. especially in the west and it appears that its more common in the States. The designers I know from Italy are mainly Roman Catholics. And the ones I know in this region(Asia) are either Buddhists, Christians or Taoists. There are people who choose to not believe in any Faith. But the numbers are not many.

I would thinkn an uncreative designer is one who is an extremist in the way they perceive the world. Prefers one end and do not want or ignore the other end. Its really scary to think of that. I have friends who have taught such students before and they don’t know how to handle them. I wouldn’t either. You can’t crit the student because of the extreme thinking in fear you may offend them. You can’t exactly pass them because the work is really not up to the mark. Very difficult position.

Thought I should add this in too:

I also feel that though religious Faith isn’t anything that we can define. It is something that seems to give people their peace. The human faith that we have is a source of energy that we live on. But somewhat somehow someway at the back of my head, there is this feeling that Faith is also a large force that brings in the miracles.

Must remind all here that I am not religious. Its just that along some unhappy episodes that I have personally come through that I think I was luckily being guided out of the problems. I certainly had a lot of faith and determination to overcome the problem. But I thought some unexplained force had somewhat done the major part.

Just sharing some personal thoughts here.

my Faith is a considerable part of who i am as a person. it does ground me. is linked to my work as a designer? probably. i would like to believe that my integrity is a large part of who i am as a designer, which was probably developed through my Faith. i also believe Faith to be private beliefs and would never try to impose those on others. i respect the beliefs others have and expect the same in return.


i know plenty of designers who are amazing and religion/church involvement is a huge part of their life.

i was brought up orthodox christian, lived in a predominantly muslim country, my friends are all of imaginable faiths w/ different degree of involvement…it just never “clicked” for me.

and at the end of the day, it’s a personal thing. it has nothing to w/ how i choose to treat people around me especially in the work setting.

f(F)aith+Design=Brilliant? or impossible?

Actually I find this posting suprising, because I have only met a handful of designers in school and in the profession that will actually admit/discuss their faith…the fear of cynical responses from peers perhaps?

I am a designer, for whom faith is enormous part of my life. That is not to say that I have found a way to express my faith directly through my designs…not yet anyway. I don’t think of myself as religious, because I have yet to find one group who embodies my preferences, but was raised in very intellectual baptist church.

Faith is the subject we are talking about anyway…the bigger idea behind religion.
Creativity can be enhanced in many ways, but I tend to think it blossoms when
there is a great peace of mind. Late nights working, anyone?..when the sounds of the city die off, and you’re alone with…yourself and your ideas?

Cool thing is though, that the material word, if you believe, is connected to the spiritual one…so being in love with creating things is in a way, a very “sacred” activity

either way, does it matter?

i’d hardly think that faith, Faith, or religion has much bearing on a designer and the outcome of most projects (except perhaps if talking about designing a religious object with specific references).

Just about as relevant as knowing if a designer is homosexual (which is to say completely irrelevant).

Not to say that as has been mentioned, some philosophical issues or approaches aren’t interesting for a designer, but I think that faith in a religious context is a red herring w.r.t. design.

just my 0.02$ worth.