Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Transcendental Design: Faith & Culture

As professional designers we work to maintain a professional demeanor with clients and colleagues alike. And although faith matters and belief systems undergird our individual personalities and the culture we collective form and participate in, we tend to keep our spiritual beliefs private.

We don't want to alienate our clients or distinguish ourselves as 'out-there'. So we hold back and censor ourselves when we should be engaging and celebrating the diversity of our belief systems and looking for the overlap and common benefit the arises from the combination of seemingly disparate belief systems. Rather than accentuating in our minds how we believe differently, we should emphasize the ways in which we want the same improvements in the built environment.

This might begin with introspection, thinking critically about what each of us believes, then sharing within our collaborative how our beliefs inform our environmental design ethos, celebrating our diversity and finally weaving the threads of individual design-thinking threads into a fabric of design culture that transcends the status quo. After all, we are looking for ways to expand our thinking beyond the highest green rating system certification.

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