Having Less, Doing More, and Being Connected

This week was a nice transition from empathic design to human needs and design activism because the subjects are closely related. In class, as well as in our reading, Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change, we learned about the differences between having, doing, and being, and how they are related to human needs. Having is an important factor in sustainability because it portrays human consumption and how much is the right amount. Doing, represents things that help us “fit in” and “relate to” as said in class. Designers need to facilitate this by shifting “having” to “doing.” This related back to empathic design by including the consumer in the design rather than just creating for the consumer and designing things to “open up new and yet familiar capacities” as stated in Design for Change; this then links to being by allowing emotional connection to develop through designing. The point is to create a product the user is going to grow with, and see as, irreplaceable making it sustainable in many ways.
In our next reading, Change by Design, the concept of design activism was brought to light. I thought this was very interesting because in the latest generation, most everything is about the newest technology and how businesses can innovate and create more advanced technologies to create wants or satisfy needs. I think one of the biggest problems these days is that businesses are creating products and services that are innovative and advanced in their growing markets for the money rather than the impact. Rather than creating products and services to make a positive impact on the worlds pressing problems and needs, most are just adding to the growing demands of human consumption and having, as described in the last reading. I thought it was a great idea to travel to problem areas of the world and gain empathy as well as experience the lives of people that don’t have their minds clouded with the luxuries of technology and equipment to get a pre-generated idea of innovation. Change by Design really opened my eyes to a different, more organic way of creating innovation, experiencing passion, and getting inspiration by talking about the projects that the organizations did and how they traveled and gained knowledge and insight to bring back to the business world. As stated in Change by Design, we need to educate the up-and-coming generations to think of design in a different way to “unlock the vast reservoir of human creative potential.” I get excited thinking about how much we could actually change things just by changing the way we research for design, or more personally, changing the way we live. We need to open our minds to having less, doing more, and being connected.

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