Art is a voice of faith through the ages
Tradition of art in the church
From early Byzantine to medieval to high Renaissance and after, Christianity has fostered a lot of art. The commandants of the Tora about graven images may have discouraged Jewish people from making some types of religious art. Likewise, Islam was not keen on allowing much to be produced that might be thought to resemble an idol. Of course, in some religions, idols are part of the worship. In any case, the relationship between art and religion is long and rich in culture.
Christianity has included art most notably in the architecture of religious buildings. Some of the most famous art in history was commissioned by the church.
What can we learn about design from Religion?
Quite a lot really. A greet many insights about design, particularly UX design can be had from the study of religion. And I suppose visa versa. Seek and you will find them.
For example, the use of metaphor and analogies to convey spiritual concepts or otherwise intangible abstract ideas via the familiar and tangible, development and use of iconography, use and impact of story-telling, and more. This mentioned on the metaphor page.
My own faith-centered art is a nod to religious art through the centuries yet remain unconstrained by tradition. Some of my works are simple reinterpretations of some of those classic pieces. Others are my own ideas. The themes are mix of traditional classic iconic imagery and original personal expressions.
The medium of steel and concrete are not really new materials in the context of architecture, but are very contemporary materials in terms of fine art. How I choose to work in them is neither traditional for religious sculpture nor characteristic of their general use in architecture.
First user CENTERED design
What happens when people see it for the first time, respond to it and engage with it, this to me is pure fun. I think of the story of Genesis when God created the animals then couldn’t wait to show them to man to see what he would call them. Of all things he had to to do, The creator couldn’t wait to see what the human being would think about it. The first UX research interview.
Elijah, the fiery prophet
The stories and people of the bible. The story of Elijah is one of my favorites. Having just won the victory of his life, he became so depressed he crawled into a cave and wished to die. And God said. Why don’t you eat something and have some rest. And and after Elijah woke from his nap he decided hings weren’t so bad after all.
This bust of Elijah is one i made quite some time ago. As I was making it with a fiery hot flame, I was thinking about the fiery nature of his personality. My only problem is that I wish you could see the flames used to create this. Then again, looking at this, maybe you can imagine the flame?
what year is it?
I often ask people what year is it?. I usually do this when I feel a technology or process is out of date, like people still using fax machines. Of course I'm being sarcastic to make a point, like “that's so 1995” or “1980 just called and they want their technology back”.
I could also ask the question to make another point. That is, What does the date we use referring to? Why is it 2019? What does that mean? The point is that 2019 is certainly not the age of the planet by anyone's scale. It is the time since Christ’s first visit.
Spirituality and technology
Imagine explaining cloud technology to someone a couple of millennia ago. What you say? Would you describe a thing or place called the internet that was not really tied to any particular location, but for all practical purposes, seemed to be all around us? It would be a source of great knowledge readily available to all who believed enough to click a yes in answer to a simple question.
Then having received something called a downloaded app (downloaded, as if from some nebulous place somewhere above us), a person could receive and understand messages or notifications which would otherwise be undetectable, visibly or audibly. In the very least, such notifications might seem to onlookers to be nonsensical language.
Do you think anyone would believe you? They might say you are crazy, or drunk. That’s pretty much like the gospel and how it has been going since as far as I can tell. People walking around starring at a little flat shiny black object or just talking to the air, take your pick. It all seems about equally wacky or plausible from my point of view.
a SPIRITUAL UX DIMENSION
The New Testament Gospel of Christ is arguably a user-centered design approach UX approach built against a backdrop of a command line system. Like Windows running on DOS, the old system never really went away. It just became a little friendlier to navigate, more forgiving of errors, with 70 x 70 levels of undo,
For example, the heavy use of analogies, parables (story telling) in particular, to convey spiritual concepts or otherwise intangible abstract ideas via the familiar and tangible. Metaphors too, though somewhat problematic as I mention on the metaphor page. Of course, the development and regular use of iconography came along in the centuries that followed.