After spending 15 weeks learning about sustainability, I feel that I have learned the basic meaning and concepts of sustainability. Sustainability to me is being mindful of the environment around you. We should not only think about the now, but we should think about what will be best for the environment long term. Sustainable design is being mindful of the environment when designing products and designing products that may have a long life.
I think the biggest epiphany I had all semester was when we discussed empathic design and emotional attachment. When we discussed this topic, I felt like this was one of the only ones I could relate to. It opened my eyes to the lack of emotional attachment that consumers have towards products. We talked about several ways we could improve this problem. We mentioned things like including personalized notes or special tags into clothing, or even creating blogs so people can create and share their journey of their product. This idea was brought to life when Jade talked for her LOLA show. She talked about a company who is having elderly women knit products and attach a personalized note to the product explaining who made it. This creates a relationship between the consumer and the manufacturer.
This week we discussed sectors of design. These consist of private sector, public sector, non-profit and research. As these sectors begin to change, the way designers design and produce their products will start to change. I think it is important for designers to be exposed to all sorts of environmental and social problems. When they are exposed to these situations, they will learn how to design according to changes. I totally agree that designers should be exposed to these situations that way they can adjust their designs.
I definitely learned a lot more about sustainability than I expected to during the semester. I think that everything we learned through out the semester was a little overwhelming. One thing I would be interested in learning is more about what actual products that are being designed around sustainability and keeping up with new ideas. Although I am not much of a sustainable person, I would be interested to see how other people change their ways of living according to the environment.