Material Culture of Religion: New Approaches to Functionality in Islamic Objects

Bagli H.

DESIGN JOURNAL, vol.18, no.3, pp.305-325, 2015 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14606925.2015.1059598
  • Title of Journal : DESIGN JOURNAL
  • Page Numbers: pp.305-325


Religious artefacts are usually evaluated in the light of good-old symbolism rather than functionality. This makes these artefacts perceived as objects alienated to the contemporary paradigm of design in its classical sense the outcome of the formula 'form follows function'. However, symbolism is not sufficient to explain the material culture of religious objects, because they mostly refer to specific practices and rituals. In this situation there is a strong need to go beyond purely symbolic patterns and have a fresh look at the issue of functionality and design.