The sustainable class of 2013

Starting this August, I was feeling apprehensive about this course.  I had heard from fellow classmates that it was pointless and a waste of time… I found them wrong.  While I did often feel like the time spent in the class could have been more productive, I still REALLY enjoyed being in groups, discussing the readings with my peers, and hearing their thought processes on these matters.  Sustainability in my mind wasn’t about the standard of living or how designers could change the design world by incorporating empathy of the consumer into their design – it was about recycling and going green. Now I see Sustainability in life cycles and the standards of design.  If this becomes the focus of my carrier this could help change the standard of living.   I went from being very snooty about this topic, to having a compassionate outlook on this idea of empathy and relating it to products and their design.

Empathy was my favorite topic we covered.  I am an externally emotional person, so to think about a designer designing a product or home based on my own needs makes my heart go pitter-patter.  It makes me feel as if my opinions matter.  As a designer, I want my clients and consumers to feel like the products and homes I design or repurpose are based on their wants, and more importantly, needs.  Its like one of the readings we talked about “Drowning with your client” – Which is like the saying, until you walk a mile in their shoes; we as designers need to immerse ourselves in the needs and wants of our clients to truly understand what their needs look like.

The activity I liked the most was the profile we created about documenting our life for 48 hours.  After this there were random profiles to be selected, then each learning community group thought of a product to create and design for those people. The catch was all the designers knew about was what was seen on the slides of their day to day activity.  This I thought was a perfect way of immersing each student into thinking about what clients would need, based on his or her day to day activity.  I LOVED IT!

All in all, I was a weeeeee bit overwhelmed with all these new techniques and information, but frankly I think we need this course.  It lets the students see that there are two paths in the design world.  The money driven, the “more is better” field… ORRR the path of bettering the world, learning how to up cycle and recycle products to better the world and give back to natures generosity. So let the class of 2014 take this idea and set it into motion.

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