Alumni from the January 2023 Program
The Heart of Design was the light that I’ve been seeking for many years. The course answered so many questions I had, affirmed so many ideas I was navigating, and inspired me to have the courage to pursue a creative and spiritual path.
The curriculum was so holistic, delving into how the spiritual, creative, practical, and community spheres are connected, and how we can develop them in harmony to approach design challenges. Through the weekly assignments, I practiced how to let go of perfectionism, and instead focus on beginning and iterating. As a “dreamer” who wants to be a “doer,” this course pushed me to simply start my ideas - through elevating my questions and purpose, using design tools like the Heart-Centred Canvas, and cultivating a community of like-hearted people to share with and learn from.
It was an honour to have Peter and his teachers as our guides. Through facilitating the course and sharing lessons he’s learned from other teachers, Peter led us with humility, empathy, expertise, and a bright perspective.
This was an enriching and refreshing five weeks that taught me how to move forward with my creativity, and how to use the creativity I’ve been entrusted with to serve others with hope and purpose. I would wholeheartedly recommend The Heart of Design program to anyone looking to do the same!
Massachusetts, United States
I'm a teacher and an educator. It was a slightly new world to me, the introduction to design thinking, but in some ways I think that was ideal because I think if you have been in the industry for a long time then you get a little bit used to some of the concepts, whereas this was mostly new stuff for me.
I really enjoyed the lectures of Peter and the discussions, but I also really enjoyed getting to know my fellow classmates or cohort. I connected with quite a few of them on LinkedIn, and I've had some follow up meetings with several of them, so that's been great in terms of network building and I loved that it's not just the current cohort, but that the slack channel also has access to all the previous alumni.
I've been looking at starting a business and so I've been looking for lots of different models and the heart centered value proposition was the one I think did a wonderful job of bringing in the lighthearted, spiritual side of entrepreneurship, which is exactly what I was looking for.
Overall, I really enjoyed the course, I would highly recommend it, especially for people who have some sort of idea percolating on the back burner and they're trying to figure out how to push it forward. I think the course will give lots of ideas and it will also bring you into a wonderful, vibrant community of light hearted individuals who are also there to be your cheerleaders and supporters.
I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Heart of Design program offered by the Gould Studio in January 2023. As a health sector worker, I have been on a journey of recovery from burnout in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The course, with its heart-centred approach, provided me with a beautiful path by which to explore creativity and spiritual grounding.
It has been an invaluable resource in rebuilding my resiliency and allowing me to reflect on living with purpose and in alignment with my values. It is also performing an important service by opening up a unique space for Muslim creatives to meet and bringing together like-minded souls from around the world. I have felt truly energized and inspired and am very grateful for the experience.
I have been following Peter Gould's work for some time through the people who have worked with him and have always been drawn to understand how to design with an intention.
I am glad to take part in the Heart of Design program as it opened my eyes to understanding how design is integrated through an Islamic lens and can bring value to what we believe in and be of service to the people and planet around us. As the name of the course implies, everything has to be evaluated from the heart foremost. Thank you, Peter, for creating a course that has left me to reflect on my intention and bridge practical steps to turn that intention into actions.
Leena Al Sallakh
As a designer, the Heart of Design program was both familiar and new. I found it extremely beneficial and enriching with how our Islamic principles were beautifully intertwined with the content throughout and how it was delivered.
It was really an honour to have Peter go through the course and share his knowledge and experience. Peter had a very calmy and gentle way of delivering the content that it was easy to take in - I didn't feel overwhelmed at all but more reassured.
One thing I really loved and appreciated about the program was how everyone was encouraged to take it at their own pace and that the resources will be available for you later down the track whenever you ready. While attending the classes, it evoked lots of moments of reflections on my personal values and my goals I have for the future.
I would definitely recommend the Heart of Design to anyone who is ready and open to learn a new way of thinking, new way of design thinking in particular, but also someone who may need to stop and reflect on where they are and where they want to be like me.
California, United States
This was a great course. I listened to each episode like a podcast (didn't have time to watch!) and it worked really well. I enjoyed not being pressured to do anything. I found the frameworks really valuable. The strangest thing is that I feel like the course brought me closer to Islam than any Imam has done over the past few years. Truly a growth moment for me
An amazing masterclass masha'Allah! This course is the missing piece of the puzzle that connects our purpose of life, and the path Allah wants us to follow with our professional and practical daily routine and decisions. With his sincere and humble approach, Peter Gould shares his successful experiences and clarifies the lenses through which we view the existing practical and professional world around us. In his 'Heart of Design' program, he speaks and teaches with 'heart', promotes 'heart-centered' principles, and connects 'like-hearted' people whom I'm grateful to have known throughout this course.
It was an honor and a blessing to have been part of this experience. Thank you Gould Studio team for the wonderful journey!
Bay Area, California
This is filling such a void because there are many courses for learning Islam. But this is the only one about approaching creativity through an Islamic lens.
Asma El Maslohi
This was truly a transformative program for me as I learned how spiritually can be integrated seamlessly into any design process. I can say it was a missing piece in my professional puzzle. Peter shared with us beneficial tools and reflections to create our own journey, and I really appreciate how I was able to connect with other like-hearted Muslims.
Aisha N Ahmed
Last month I had the privilege of completing the Heart of Design Masterclass with the esteemed Peter Gould of Gould Studios. I was in the company of many great minds and was awed by their drive, thoughts and experience. All participants had a shared objective to add meaning to their work through connecting spirituality and heart to their vision.
The masterclass is not only for ‘designers’ in the traditional sense, but for anyone and everyone looking for direction in how to create with heart.
I came out on the other side of the course with clarity of purpose and a clearer mindset. I have learned so much to implement in my approach to my work as a lawyer and also in any other endeavours be they for profit or not. Ultimately, the course has given me key principles to bring greater value to any project: sincerity, intentionality, craftmanship, gratitude, service and blessings.
Peter’s classes also included many snippets of wisdom taken from classic and contemporary thinkers which put the key principles into a wider context and serve as reminders of how to get the best out of yourself to create the best work.
My sincere thanks to Peter for taking the time to prepare and deliver the course and to his team, especially Subhi Bora, for facilitating. I am truly grateful!
I was blessed to join the first cohort of Peter’s Masterclass, The Heart of Design, initially not knowing whether I would fit in given my science/engineering background. It turned out to be amazingly enriching and inspirational, while remaining intelligible.
Peter has a powerful ability to federate members from various walks of life, and has a natural talent and eagerness for community inception and nurture. He compiled a meaningful selection of state-of-the-art design and entrepreneurship knowledge, through his own experienced lens and in a fluid manner, and gracefully complemented it with the missing spiritual essence, all in an accessible 5-week format.
His leadership style by inclusiveness and empowerment proved to be valuable in his way of presenting the content; as a coherent embodiment of the masterclass’s spirit. His generosity in sharing ideas and feedback was much beneficial and appreciated.
Peter’s emphasis on monitoring intention and practicing presence is an element that particularly resonated with me. Some salient and valuable aspects of his personality include his sustained “childhood spirit” exemplified in his sense of wonder and enthusiasm, and his appetite for continuous improvement to reach excellence; both requiring a great deal of humility.
I am grateful he took time to put together his expertise to spread the “Design with Heart” seeds in the wider community’s fertile land. I ask Allah to accept, bless, and fructify all his endeavours, and to grant him genuine success in both worlds!
I recently completed The Heart of Design by Peter Gould, which offered a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth at the intersection of #design, #entrepreneurship and #spirituality.
Taking us on an inspiring five-week journey, Peter outlined how a designer’s mindset, when “heart-centered”, can help professional’s align their spiritual aspirations with meaningful and enriching work.
Thank you Peter for building, leading, and presenting such a creative and inspiring course. I wish Gould Studio all the best with its creative projects, and hope to attend similar courses with you in the future.
JazakAllah khayran for a valuable, heart-centered and very special 5-week journey. I was initially unsure of what to expect from the Heart of Design course, but I felt certain that there was much to learn from Peter's vast experience.
I came into this course as an artist, writer and photographer who for years had reflected the Islamic principle of ihsan in my work. Being at the cusp of launching several projects, I convinced myself that this course would be able to help me put my spiritually-driven focus in line with the entrepreneurial journey.
Almost immediately, Peter set about laying the foundations of Heart-centered work within a professional framework; sharing years of personal experience, mantras and must-reads which encouraged participants to embrace his vision for community-focused ethical enterprise true to our traditions.
May Allah swt continue to increase Peter and his team and make him a reviver of Sincerity, Excellence, Gratitude and Service. Ameen!
Hear from past students
The Masterclass on "The Heart of Design" with Peter Gould has been an unforgettable blessing. Each week I was inspired to reflect within; whilst gaining new life long skills and reconnecting back to our rich tradition
This course will reawaken your inner creativity and align it with our true purpose both in spirituality and life goals.
Upon completing this incredible course, I was equipped with both confidence and heart centred design principles to transform my vision for a project into reality. This was a dream come true.
Thank you to the team at Gould studio for facilitating this inspiring course. And thank you Peter, for being an outstanding visionary, for illuminating this transformative journey and for inspiring me to envision and truly believe that we can all contribute towards bringing much needed light and beauty into the digital age.
I wanted to take minute to express my appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of this course.
I really felt that the course was very well designed to challenge the participant to shift the mindset towards design as a spiritual practice and more so to sincerely design from the heart with empathy that starts with engaging the desired audience for a “product”.
I loved engaging with the like-hearted community and have come across truely like-hearted individuals that have inspired my journey going forward - not the least of whom is Peter’s journey...so very inspiring.
Thank you all so much again for the beautiful and inspiring content!
California, United States
Alhamdolillah, for the opportunity to complete a cohort based course led by Peter Gould on intentionally driving alignment, to unlock purpose-driven creativity.
There is immediate applicability of this higher ground alignment in leading strategic initiatives, empathy based design and product mindset to focused execution.
I really appreciate the #safe space and community provided thru this breakthrough of a course.
Through reflection, vision and meaning making Peter Gould took us through design thinking and it's connection with the spirit of service towards one another and Islam. It also encouraged me to recognize how service and spirituality can go hand in hand in our daily lives! This was possible through several anecdotes, and nuggets of knowledge shared by Peter himself!
Special thanks to Peter for what you do. I love how you just put it about the frictions and difficulties along the way.... "It's by design".
Islamic Mission Singapore
Attending the Heart of Design course was one of the most enriching experiences in my life as a creative. It helped me to direct my creations having the Creator in mind, which to me is the best guidance to have barakah in the work that I do as well as having a purpose in creating.
Many a times, we are always more focused on the aesthetics, and I found it enriching to have Peter open our eyes to the fact that even in medieval Islamic design, every feature of it had a function and a spiritual connection. The tools that Peter taught us were also very valuable as it helped to place our purpose in design and creation very much on faith.
I also love the camaraderie and being around other participants who were creative Muslims in their own right, talented and gifted, but also very much humble and love to share. I look very much to be a part of the alumni community since our journeys are all different and will take different durations. Thank you to Peter and the Gould Studio team for opening up our eyes and for always reminding us that the Creator should be the centre of everything. Alhamdulillah wa baarakAllahufeek.
Jazak Allah Khayran Peter Gould for the Heart of Design Workshop!
This workshop was a truly inspirational and a beautiful journey that opened my heart, helped clear my thinking about so many aspects in my life, and inshaa'Allah will lead to real impact!
Your calm presence is inspirational, and the wealth of information and resources that you have shared are a real treasure.
I particularly appreciated the discussion about the many paths and models that you have mentioned, which each of us can choose to follow in order to support developing our ideas into a lifelong journey, depending on which season of life we are in.
Also, the interactions with other workshop participants and the connections built are priceless.
I strongly recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to organize their thinking and make a real impact in this world.
The course will help you reimagine and redesign your personal & professional journey