Role of Emotions in the Design of Religious Rituals and Artefacts in Sikhism

By Lalit K. Das and Amitoj Singh.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Peter L. Berger has written very positively on transcendence in religion and on religion as an endeavor by human society to make itself a part of the cosmos. The design of experiences, songs, parables, rituals and artefacts form an edifice in this socially constructed world. This paper explores the design of religion. We have mapped the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs / motivations in the context of Sikh religious journey and how religion modifies the experiences especially in the context of deficit needs. The associated religious writings have been referred in order to identify the emotions related to the different stages of the religious journey. The emotional configuration of these stages is represented on a circumplex of emotions. The paper establishes that religious rituals are designed to reinforce the emotions desired by the religion in each stage of the religious journey. The emotional considerations of the experience associated with the ritual, is reflected in the design of various ritual artefacts. The role of emotions in the design of ritual artefacts is established in the context of Sikh religion as a sample situation. However through this approach one can also understand the relationship between artefact, ritual, and experience in other religions of the world.

Keywords: Design, Emotions, Rituals, Artefacts, Needs, Experience, Religion, Sustainability, Sikhism

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.872MB).

Prof. Lalit K. Das

Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India

Prof. Lalit Kumar Das pioneered Industrial Design education at IIT Delhi. He graduated in Civil Engineering from IIT Kanpur. Thereafter he did his Masters of Technology in Design Engineering from IIT Delhi and then Master of Art in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art, London. Prof. Das has wide-ranging deep probing interests in design and man’s innate potential to design. He has worked and designed products for the office, home, industry. He has also designed educational and research equipment. He has worked with artisans and has conceptualized distant education for artisans under the banner of IGNOU. He is deeply interested in sustainable approach to design and a non parochial non partisan framework for study of design. He has many publications to his credit. He has been engaging in the development of the forthcoming National Policy on Design. He has widely traveled and has worked at the Industrial Design Center, I.I.T. Bombay and at the Department of Fine Art, University of Manitoba, Canada. He has been actively promoting design at all levels of the society.

Dr. Amitoj Singh

PhD Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India

Amitoj Singh did his masters in Industrial design from IIT Delhi after graduating in mechanical engineering. Currently he is working as an industrial designer in Hero Honda Motors Ltd, India .He has been among the team of initial industrial designers at the design studio in HHML. He is doing PhD in the field of Design and Emotions, from IIT Delhi under the supervison of Prof. L.K.Das (Head,IDDC,IIT Delhi) He has designed various products and systems in the field of automobiles, play equipments and adaptive environments. He is deeply interested in an emotion centered framework for product design. His projects in the field of user experience have got him acclaim from media and industry.


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