Press Release

Art enthusiasts delve into religious symbolism and more at Ideate’s “Design & Faith” event

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By
Muhammad Moin Ud Din
Published on
Feb 9, 2023

Islamabad, ICT (January 19, 2023): In the fourth instalment of its “Design & the World” series in partnership with Daftkarkhwan, Ideate Innovation hosted an interactive session on the intersection of design and faith. Head of Design Ali Murtaza engaged the gathering with context-driven questions on the source of faith, its bearing on our life and its influence on religious architecture over time and space. The engrossed audience included Daftarkhwan members, designers and local professionals. 

In a manner typical to the Design & the World talks, Mr. Murtaza kept the discussion open and conversational, encouraging attendees to contribute answers instead of providing them. The first of these questions was around defining faith, specifically where it comes from and whether it is earned. He contextualised with examples from everyday life: faith in different types of travel, brands and countries, particularly when put in contrast with another.

The bulk of the talk addressed faith in relation to religion, specifically influence on religious architecture. “The great faith traditions have for thousands of years catered to some of humanity’s most important needs: providing us comfort, community, support and a sense of belonging,” said Mr. Murtaza. “Some of the best examples of these attributes can be found in the art and architecture representing these traditions. As designers, there can be few better ways to learn about how to create experiences, objects and spaces that people truly care about than from religious art and architecture.”

The audience was exposed to a collection of religious sites and the mixture of religious symbolisms they incorporated. The crowd was highly intrigued as Mr. Murtaza juxtaposed patterns and designs in buildings inspired by different traditions, highlighting how similar themes were manifested across faiths and how different approaches could arise from religious norms. including the use of arches, decorated roofs, natural light and flora. Some recurring elements included the use of ceilings and domes, representations of deities and geometric patterns such as fractals.

Mr. Murtaza ended by asking why these similar themes have persisted over centuries despite separation by vast distances, cultures and religions. His hypothesis: religious architecture does not change because people do not change. 

The following question and answer session was met with enthusiasm with participants sharing their own observations and posing their queries to the group. The invigorating discussion made a fitting end to a thought-provoking episode of Design & the World.

One of the attendees, Marketing Manager at Bringer Media Munaza Baqar, shared her thoughts on the talk: “It was intriguing to learn how religious architecture and iconography connect with religious dogma and evoke a universal appeal.”

Follow our official pages on social media to catch snippets from Design & the World and updates about future events in the series.