Sustainability to me, after the course, is having every part of how the world can get better in mind when you do something as a person or with your company. This can be done in different ways but the most important to me are now recycling, reusing, or anything that betters the quality of life for both humans and the earth together. Sustainable design though is having sustainability, as stated above, in mind when you are trying to design something for a client. This can be done with ideas and theories such as empathic design and biophilic design. I feel that sustainable design is designing something for somebody with natures well being, and the persons well being as a main priority. I had the thought, before this class, that sustainability was just about bettering the environment and thinking “going green” was the answer. But as the class progressed, I realized that it is so much more meaningful.
I had a very big “AH HA” moment with two different aspects of the class. But at the beginning of the class, I thought all we were going to be doing is learning just how to do things to better the environment. As this was true, it wasn’t the “big picture” of what the class was really about. I learned that there are so many different ways to be sustainable but the two that stood out to me the most were Biophilic design and Empathic design. I really love how you can incorporate nature into something you build or design and that is a broad way to explain what biophilic design is. I really love being able to feel a sense of closeness to nature when I can not be outdoors. When I am at work, I always look out the window just to have that connection with nature even if it is for a moment where I can see the sun, clouds, or even storms. But more importantly I really love being able to know that just putting a plant inside is a part of biophilic design or even just designing a piece of furniture or painting a wall to look like it came from nature itself. I will definitely take this with me in the future in my career along with empathic design. Empathic design stood out to me the most. When I think about where I want to be in my career, I want to be able to create a store design that can help many people in different ways. I really enjoyed this part of the course because of my always wanting to help people in any way I can. I always knew that there was a way to design something FOR someone but I did not know that there was a whole theory on this idea. When we started empathic design, I thought to myself that this was going to only be fore handicapped and older individuals. When we did our in-class project over the subject, my heart fluttered with joy because I got to design something for someone. Even though they were imaginary, I thought about my dad and how he is going through almost the same thing as our “client” with a bunch of family stuff coming up were he can not do much to help because of work. When we created the desk, I thought to myself that that is something my dad could benefit from even though it was originally meant for a fictional client. I really enjoyed learning about this because I hold it so dear to my heart.
As much as I feel like we really learned a lot about it, because I feel like I have a growing passion for it, I really want to dig a little deeper in empathic design. I want to dig into how I can use this with merchandising, or even if I do not become a merchandiser, how I can use it in the future to be able to make at least one person, or group of people’s lives easier. I also would like to dig into how I could incorporate this into the mannequin I am trying to design. I am putting it on hold until I can do more research to be able to figure this out. I want to grow my excitement about empathic design and maybe turn it into a passion in the near future.
I would define sustainability as being knowledgeable about the effects one’s actions can have on the environment and being conscious of that by taking action. Sustainable design can be defined as creating or designing things with the end use/ life time cycle in mind. In other words, it is vital to design something that has the potential to be broken down and used into something else, eliminating waste. When looking at blog 1 and reflecting on what I wrote above, I can see that how I defined sustainability was also sustainable design wrapped into one. I think after the first week I further understood the definition of sustainability but as the class went on, I now understand the depth and aspects that go into implementing a sustainable lifestyle in both my personal and professional life.
Going into this class I was closed off to the idea of sustainability and how I categorized it with go green. What I came to find out and learn through my sustainable journey was that sustainability in and of itself is complex, intriguing, and important. I can’t sit here and tell you exactly some of the terms used in sustainability and what they mean but there are so many concepts, applications, and takeaways that have now changed my thought process in life.
Personally, I have found myself thinking about certain things throughout the day like reserving energy (which has been the most implemented). I never leave the bathroom, bedroom, or any kitchen appliances left on or plugged in. I think about making wiser choices in the little things like bringing my old plastic or paper bags to sprouts not only for a discount but also to save on plastic bag waste. I started doing this after my learning community did our design slam over the topic of plastic bags.
As for sustainability in my career I am now aware of biophilic design especially in stores and its calming factor it has on peoples shopping experience. I have learned a lot about changing my mindset when it comes to design. There has been a lot of epiphany moments where I have loved learning and understanding how to design with a sustainability mindset. One of my favorite things to learn about was empathic design and how to really put myself in the consumer’s shoes in order to create something useful, innovative, but sustainably produced.
Knowing what I know now, I would love to learn more about how I can start making a paradigm shift with small, easy, logical steps. I think it would be beneficial to implement small daily exercises that have the potential to produce a habit and make a large change (statistics could be provided such as: if you were to only use reusable water bottles, the impact it would have on the environment on a larger scale etc.). I didn’t expect to learn anything more in the class then what was covered but I think it would have been fun and beneficial to learn about DIY (do it yourself) designs that we can create in our everyday lives to live a more sustainably.
When I first started this semester, I thought sustainability meant to renew something old to repurpose it into something new that wouldn’t hurt the environment. I found out also that it actually means, “Development which meets the needs of the present without prohibiting future generations to meet their own needs.” (Bruntland Report, 1987). In my own words now, I would say that sustainability is when you have the mindset of creating something that can contribute to something greater that is biophilic, empathic, etc.
We went and learned about recycling today. It was about the recycling that goes on at OSU. This taught me so much about recycling and how I can help the environment instead of hurting it. Over the semester I have learned so much. This class has really shaped my thoughts on how I want to live. I’m in the process of living a more sustainable life one day at a time. I’ve absolutely loved getting through this semester being so consumed in sustainable actions and thoughts. It was a great class that I would recommend to other DHM students if it were still being offered after this semester.
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As of today I still define sustainability as an ability to substantiate a statement by maintaining it or support an activity by processing over the long term. For sustainable design I define it by the intention to reduce or completely eliminate negative environmental impacts through thoughtful designs. However, this is different from how I conceptualized these concepts at the beginning of the course. Somewhat relative but the different was that I didn’t know or knew that we can use sustainability as to measures income as a flow of goods and services that an economy can generate indefinitely without reducing its natural productive capacity. Also I haven’t thought of it as to incorporate environmentally-preferable outcomes that applies to different sustainable designs such as lower energy and water consumption through the entire life cycle from manufacture to daily use to disposal.
The most pronounced epiphanies to me was Biophilia design and Empathic design. The most learning outcomes I have during this course is by going out there and explore more about what’s happening to the world. Such as Biophilia, when looking at a certain nature is there a way to imitate it into a designs. For example when looking at a full speed bird it can be design as a biophilia by creating a full speed train like the bird. Also when looking at bee hives, it can be design as a honey comb pads like bee hives. The most important things I will take away is empathic design. Empathic design to me is a significant quality in the process of product development that helps designers to meet customer needs. For example is by designing clothes for the older people. To be able to create a certain clothes for elders is by looking at their lifestyle, health problems, environment, and many more. If that person has trouble buttoning and tying shoes then I would design an empathic design by putting Velcro as the buttons and slip on for shoe. By using Velcro as buttons it would make his life easier and slip on shoe without tying shoes. All of these journeys take me to a different path in life by getting more information from others, readings, and other activities in class into a positive way in the future.
Know what I know now was that this sustainable journey of mine is still continuing in which I still want to learn more about so that I could use it in real life situations in the near future. What I know now is still not enough information to me because there’s still many new things that I haven’t learn from the whole world which I would love to travel around the globe to find what I’m looking for. Getting more information to me is like knowing what the world is doing such as environmental change in human nor nature. However, there isn’t something that I expected to learn in the course that I did not since I’ve learnt enough from this course. I’m still not going to give up yet because my sustainable journey has just began which is not going to stop me by becoming successful in life.
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Sustainability to me in May of 2017 is keeping the product of something alive longer than its original life expectancy. It can also mean using the littlest amount of materials to create a product. Personally I think that sustainability is not a specific definition. There are many industries and areas that sustainability is involved in. Within these areas and industries, sustainability could mean different things, but generally it’s about conserving, reusing, and recycling properly. In January of 2017 I thought of recycling being the only thing I knew about sustainability.
Sustainable design to me in May 2017 is designing something to with sustainable practices in mind. Either with sustainable materials or something to stay in the sustainable life cycle. Back in January of 2017 I thought that sustainable design was just designing something that could be recycled. I never thought of a product going past leaving my hands. The afterthought of myself being involved in the process never occurred to me.
Starting off I thought this class would be like creative problem solving. Sustainability class was a more in depth learning about a product and its life cycle plus the terminology and principles that go along with sustainability. Creative problem solving was just a basis on how to think and develop an idea so that this class you can take those principles taught to create a solution to a problem with sustainability in mind.
Recycling is about the only thing that an average person thinks about when being sustainable. I thought this until learning more about the terminology and principles this semester. I now think the process of being sustainable starts with your first thought. I want to be a stainable person from every angle of my life, i.e. clothing, food consumption, every day products, water bottles, and more. I also learned that recycling isn’t just recycling. It is an industrial ecology cycle and I want to keep my products in these for as long as possible. Hoping that a company is well aware of their industrial ecology cycle helps them to be more sustainable as well. The company designs/ produces a product that the consumer will want or use then go to a pre-determined recycling option to help keep the product’s material in the cycle.
Another thing that helps keep a product circling in the cycle is empathic design. If a company designs a product with the consumer in mind, then the consumer will more than likely keep it for a more extended period of time. Yes this does go against today’s fast fashion trend, but think about those staple/ basic items that’s you always need in your closet. Now think about how a lot of millennials are becoming minimalistic and/ or don’t have the space. If you can design something more geared to something I will need for the next 20 years then I will think that I have to have this not just need.
I think this class has made me think more about the overall life cycles that a garment or product goes through. Also, it makes me think twice when I look at an item that I am disposing of.