Humans have long sought to manifest their religious beliefs through physical structure, the veritable “scripture in stone.” From ziggarats rising to the heavens to Baroque cathedrals expressing Christian beliefs and stories in visual form, physical structures communicate religious ideals in shape and orientation.
• Civil Engineering
• Industrial Engineering
• Industrial And Manufacturing
• Systems Engineering
Respect for religious buildings and beliefs can impact the designs of cities, roads and waterways. Building of religious structures has also driven advances in architecture and engineering, such as the soaring Gothic cathedrals’ need for support in the form of flying buttresses. Many religious stress harmony between structure and environment.Modern architects, civil and industrial engineers strive to respond to human and environmental conditions in designing homes, workspaces and commercial buildings. This includes considering quality of life for people, promoting the meaning and value of physical settings; designing waste disposal, infrastructure and transportation; and designing spaces that combine technology and people, keeping in mind both their physiological and psychological capabilities.In a global marketplaces and diverse society, successful professionals consider the religious and personal needs of those who will use the structures they build. An understanding of religious beliefs regarding buildings and environment is instructive. A few examples include:
Shinto, or “the way of the kami,” is a prehistoric Japanese religious tradition that is still practiced today, sometimes in combination with other faith traditions. “Kami” refers to Japanese mythological deities, as well as divinity manifested in natural objects, places, animals and people.
Shinto beliefs stress harmony between deities, man, and nature, with the holiest structures traditionally near natural features such as waterfalls, caves, mountains or forests.Hindu Ayurvedic principles focus on healing, prevention and rejuvenation through a system of balance achieved by living in accordance with nature’s laws. Earth’s magnetic fields, and influences of the planets and other heavenly bodies are necessary factors when designing commercial or residential buildings, temples and cities. It is believed that architectural structures are alive, influenced by natural law just as is human health. Living or working in a building in accordance with nature law ensures prosperity.
Designers might also consider specific religious beliefs, such as Muslims who prefer bathrooms to be designed so commodes face away from Mecca, the holiest city of Islam; or belief systems such as Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space – now a trend in American decorating – claimed to achieve harmony with the environment. Architects and engineers also can benefit in the growth industry of religious building construction as America’s religious communities continue to thrive.