How We Work

How We Work

Sacred Design Lab is a research and design consultancy working to create a culture of belonging and becoming.

We translate ancient wisdom and practices to help organizations develop products, programs, and experiences that uplift social and spiritual lives.

Sacred Design Lab is a research and design consultancy working to create a culture of belonging and becoming.

We translate ancient wisdom and practices to help organizations develop products, programs, and experiences that uplift social and spiritual lives.

We envision a world

in which every person is connected to their inherent goodness, known and loved in communities of care, and bountifully giving their gifts toward beauty, justice, and wholeness.

We envision a world

in which every person is connected to their inherent goodness, known and loved in communities of care, and bountifully giving their gifts toward beauty, justice, and wholeness.

And yet

the twin crises of social isolation and spiritual longing pull us apart. Unmet needs for meaning and connection play out in the way we live, love, work, and lead.1 The problem is soul-deep.

So, too, must be our response.

And yet

the twin crises of social isolation and spiritual longing pull us apart. Unmet needs for meaning and connection play out in the way we live, love, work, and lead.1 The problem is soul-deep.

So, too, must be our response.

Our Approach

Our Approach

1

Belonging

Giving and receiving the experience of being deeply known and loved.2

Belonging

Giving and receiving the experience of being deeply known and loved.2

We belong to each other. Designing for this means creating conditions for each person to deepen connection with other people, place, story, and time. The felt experience of belonging changes the way we show up. It stimulates loyalty, compassion, and joy, and diminishes anxiety, loneliness, and fear. When we feel at home, we invite others in. Belonging opens hearts.

2

Becoming

Growing into the people we are called to be.

Becoming

Growing into the people we are called to be.

We each carry gifts the world needs. Yet too often we measure our value by limiting standards: bank balance, body weight, double taps. True becoming is measured by our growing capacity to say “yes” to the soul’s call, even when it feels impossible; to tend our inner gifts, share them in community, and bountifully receive the gifts of others.3 Soul-centered design fuels impossible yesses.4

3

Beyond

Experiencing ourselves as part of something more.

Beyond

Experiencing ourselves as part of something more.

When our soul is fed, we remember in our bones that we are bound up in something beyond ourselves; something ineffably present. We feel fully big and fully small, our tap root sunk into a place that is old and deep. When we design for the soul, we map pathways for people to encounter and move closer to this endlessly renewable resource at the heart of all things, unleashing creativity and courage.

4

Ancient Wisdom × Emergent World

Applying ancient practices to emergent challenges.5

Ancient Wisdom × Emergent World

Applying ancient practices to emergent challenges.5

How do we meet the needs of the soul and move toward flourishing? Luckily, humans have been responding to this question all over the world for thousands of years. Their wisdom is our most ancient inheritance. Now our work is to apply it. We’ve collected a portfolio of ancient best practices to design for belonging, becoming, and beyond, and we work with partners to remix the wisdom of our ancestors to create soul-centeredness. 

5

Means and Ends Cohere

Shaping what we do by the way we are together.

Means and Ends Cohere

Shaping what we do by the way we are together.

We envision a world of justice and beauty. The interlocking oppressions of our society affect us each differently, but keep all of us from fully living in that world. To create products, programs, and experiences that meet the soul’s needs, our means must themselves be soul-centered. This is why we attend to how we are with each other and partners, and ensure that our work furthers our justice commitments. We show up with joy, integrity, and care.

6

Witness the Meantime

Holding space for all that emerges.

Witness the Meantime

Holding space for all that emerges.

If this work were easy, we would already live in a different world. Deepening meaning and connection takes presence, patience, courage, perseverance, and trust. We resource the journey for the leaders with whom we partner. This includes accompanying them through challenges and drawing on ancient practices of witness and reflection to slow down and listen for all that’s emerging in them. We find that our projects and our lives are richer for it. 

Notes 

Notes 

  1. With a bow to Brené Brown and her trailblazing Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

  2. To our friend and elder Killian Noe, who taught us this phrase and what it means to live this way.

  3. Inspired by Malidoma Patrice Somé in The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community.

  4. We learned about impossible yesses from the Church of the Saviour community in Washington, D.C.

  5. Our friends at Alt*Div use the beautiful phrase, “a conversation between the ancient and the emergent.”

  1. With a bow to Brené Brown and her trailblazing Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
  2. To our friend and elder Killian Noe, who taught us this phrase and what it means to live this way.
  3. Inspired by Malidoma Patrice Somé in The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community.
  4. We learned about impossible yesses from the Church of the Saviour community in Washington, D.C.
  5. Our friends at Alt*Div use the beautiful phrase, “a conversation between the ancient and the emergent.”

Language

Language

We use the words “sacred” and “soul” because solutions to our culture’s deepest challenges require us to tap into humanity’s deepest insights and motivations. “Sacred” evokes that which is beyond ourselves but to which we are connected by essence and aspiration.

Our team comes from diverse faiths and no faith. We welcome all kinds of language, metaphors, and theologies to describe essential goodness. We encourage our partners to name that which they are trying to tap into, but we’re intentionally invitational and linguistically flexible. We never seek uniformity of belief or practice in our work, and we cultivate conditions for healthy difference in everything we do.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Learn with us.

Learn with us.

Learn with us.

© 2019 Sacred Design Lab. All Rights Reserved.

© 2019 Sacred Design Lab.
All Rights Reserved.

© 2019 Sacred Design Lab. All Rights Reserved.