A Truly Godless Place: Why We Designed a Temple for Atheists
In 2008, two events of international significance took place: the Vatican announced that Islam had overtaken Roman Catholicism as the world’s biggest single religious denomination; and scientists at CERN in Geneva switched on the Large Hadron Collider for the first time, reportedly in search of the ‘God Particle.’ Despite the fact that the United Kingdom is becoming more secular, religion still continues to generate debate, particularly when it comes into contact with science.
During this time I was a student of architecture at the Royal College of Art in London, about to embark on my MA thesis project. These two events clearly stuck with me and I spent a year developing a project called Cultivating Faith, in which I investigated the potential for religious texts to be used as design guidance.
The project was intended as a critique of society’s tendency to shift and adapt its value systems in order to satisfy its increasing needs. It was also an investigation into whether a more ‘practical’ use could be found for religion.