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Cultural Issues

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Moral Issues


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Spiritual Issues in Design and Technology is part of Key Stage 3 Design and Technology. It is one of a series of topics looking at how moral, cultural, environmental and spiritual issues may influence our work in design and technology.

The Collins Concise Dictionary describes spiritual as "relating to the spirit or soul and not to physical nature or matter ... to sacred things, the Church, religion etc".


In most societies, spirituality involves a belief in something greater than ourselves, in God, of good and evil, right and wrong and of life after death and of a spiritual force governing all things. It involves a belief that what we do and the way that we behave matters and that our actions have consequences, even after death.

Religious beliefs

The world is populated by people with rich cultural heritages and with many different religious beliefs. People's religious beliefs shape their morality and the rules by which they live their lives. It influences the way that people relate to one another, to other living things and to the environment. It influences the way they think, it influences their designs, their use of technology, their architecture, arts and their cuisine, (e.g. to eat or not to eat the flesh of fish and animals).

Belief involves faith, faith that what a person believes to be true, is actually true.

Design and Technology

The diversity of faiths have inspired the design of a multitude of religious artifacts that reflect people's religious convictions, such as crosses, statues, pictures, jewellery, goblets, candle sticks, clothing, shrines, tombs, etc.

Religions have influenced the design of places of prayer and worship, which vary from the very simple to the very ornate and elaborate. Some of the World's greatest architectural designs have been strongly influenced by religious and spiritual themes, e.g. many of the designs of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" and the "New Seven Wonders of the World".

The effects of design and technological activity have a global impact on our environment and the people, plants and animals that inhabit our Earth. So how we tackle problems, develop designs, use our knowledge of materials and technology has consequences for generations to come.

At this time of dwindling natural resources, global warming, melting polar ice caps, loss of species and their habitats, it is clear to see the bad effects of Human's technological activity.

We are faced with moral, cultural, environmental or spiritual decisions at many stages of our design and technology work and we have the choice to do what we believe to be right thing. We need to work hard to solve problems that would benefit other people and it is our duty to protect our environment and the species that live on Earth, for future generations.

We must not waste finite resources but use them carefully, creating products that we need whilst maintaining an environment that is safe for people to live in now and in the future.


The common theme that has run throughout these notes about moral, cultural, environmental and spiritual issues is that we should all consider what is right and good for other people, our environment and living things that occupy our Earth.  That we should embrace and celebrate the cultural differences between people that have a common attitude toward the rights and welfare of people, animals and our environment and that we should use the resources of the Earth carefully because our actions have consequences for life on Earth, now and in the future.

Church in Yorkshire
Church in Yorkshire

Jagannath Puri Hindu temple in Orrisa,
East India. Photo courtesy Cliff Boyce

Christian shrine in the Tirol
Hillside shrine in the Tirolean mountains
  Christian artifacts in a tiny Tirolean Church
Tiny, simple chapel in the Tirolean mountains used by locals for prayer and worship.

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