What Do We Need?

Broke college kid. I think that term defines most of the students within the class! During these past four years, I have come to realize what I really need versus what I just want. Goodbye manicures and new shoes; hello textbooks and rent. Needs and wants are hard to discern in this day and age. With advertising always attempting to lure us into believing in a product, we generally succumb to the pressure and buy items we WANT. Not only is this practice dangerous to our well being and lifestyle, the habit is dangerous to the environment around us. Fletcher’s article, explains the Max-Needs taxonomy of actual human needs in a realistic and applicable way. The usefulness of this reading comes through the chart. It helps visualize how needs can be met in specific ways and understand what needs should be met in general. Without this reading, I would’ve never delved so deeply into the “human needs” process, let alone done a whole presentation on this topic. I am very thankful I was assigned to look into this topic more as it made me realize how relevant the reading in terms of social resilience. We have all had times where resilience is key in order to move forward, whether large or small. Social resilience is explained in a much different way in this passage than I have ever thought before. My epiphany this week is the most exciting I have had so far! My epiphany is that social resilience is not only applicable to natural disasters and catastrophes, but any idea or movement that needs a community of support. Social resilience doesn’t just have to do with politics either, but any issue that has an ability to be adapted to or reorganized. Social resilience can intertwine with sustainability!


As Fletcher writes, “mainstream consumers are intellectually informed, but not emotionally engaged in the discourse on the consumer economy, nor are they translating these messages into lifestyle changes”, we see why so many of the Lola show topics relating to the reuse of products or a sustainable product in general. We have to bring products to the public that are sustainable because at this point, the consumer isn’t doing much else to help the environment, although informed. Every Lola show topic showed us how human needs can be met in different ways – from tiny homes to home health innovation – and that if the public can accept the change, the sustainability product world has enough options to please everyone’s needs.


Knowing what I know now, I would like to see research based on what people think they need – including many countries – and see how diverse the outcome is. I would like to know if Americans actually think they live in excess or if they just think they are meeting their basic needs. I would also like to see the results from relatively poor countries and what they define as “needs”.


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1 Response to What Do We Need?

  1. Dr. Cosette Armstrong says:

    A solid reflection! If consumers are informed, but not engaged… how might these new sustainable innovations be presented to this audience? How might you engage them? Will it be in design? In message?

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