Seriously? What are we thinking?

History repeats itself… It is a line that we constantly hear but do we as a society really believe it or actually listen to the logic of it? I think we understand the idea that events like wars or even fashion trends repeat themselves but how about the downfalls of entire societies? Have we ever thought that those repeat themselves throughout history too?

The reading “The Lessons of Easter Island” and the movie “The Eleven Hour” brought this concept of history repeats itself to life. Even though Easter Island and its demise happened roughly two centuries ago it seems to be a “primitive” mirror image of what is happening throughout the world right now. We are living in a world and economy so caught up on competitive business and the “new best thing” that we have lost sight of how we are impacting our home…earth. This was the demise of Easter Island almost exactly to a T, it may not be to the technological advances as we face today but the same concept of competitiveness to create the best destroyed their very small “world”. We as an entire society are destroying our world through pollution (air and waste), over population (earth can only sustain about 1 billion people), de-forestation (we have lost the majority of our natural forest- which provides oxygen), over-use of natural resources and etc…

I personally had never thought about how sustainability truly affects the way that we live as a society, it has always been an ideal of bettering society and the future but the reality is that it could be the key to our success as a society or our demise. But the question is; how do we make a difference that could actually make an impact? Using reusable glasses instead of buying water bottles, recycling… the list could go on but being one person on a plant of billions, I as just one person only changing my own day to day activities am not going to make that big of an impact. But how as a designer can I make a difference in the scheme of the bigger picture as a whole? Encouraging sustainable products to clients, encouraging recycling, purchasing products from sustainable companies, designing for clean energy buildings, encouraging preservation and restoration of current buildings… but what else can we do as designers? We truly could hold the success of sustainability and our society in our crafty little hands, so what are we going to do about it? How are we going to make a difference so that centuries from now our society is a lesson of what to, not what not to do.

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