I’ve learned a lot over the course of this semester about sustainability and the impact it can have on the Earth. When this class started all I cared to know about sustainability was the involved recycling, and “go green”, and it was this big “fad” that everyone was joining in on. Now that I’ve been in the class I know that my original thoughts about sustainability were off base, and that this topic is a serious one that can prolong life on Earth. Sustainability to me means being responsible with our resources, only using what we absolutely need, and then closing the loop and not wasting any more. It means only creating products that are worthwhile to consumer and are necessary and avoiding overproduction.
The lesson that really hit me the hardest was right at the beginning of class when we discussed the East Island inhabitants and how they ruined their society because they refused to stop the destruction of their island. It has a lot of parallels to what’s going on in the world today, and it made me realize that if we don’t change the path that we are on our society will be over before too long. We are destroying all of our natural resources because we have become greedy, and we need to change our outlook to save ourselves.
I was also really affected by the empathic design lessons. It never occurred to me that a big reason why people dispose of so much is because they feel no attachment to what they are throwing out. Creating products and creating connections to products will really help close the loops of production cycles because people will want to reuse these possessions and up-cycle them so that they will be able to hold on to them. As a designer that’s really important to know because if I can figure out how to forge that connections to spaces or items than I can help stop wastefulness.
I think that now that this course is over I will always be learning about new sustainable practices and what I can do to keep sustainability progressing. I really want to learn about what products to specify for a design so that I will be supporting companies who have the same vision of a healthy society and planet that I do. I also want to learn more about industrial ecology and the different systems I can look at to mimic in designs to make them more efficient.
Overall this class has been an eye-opener. It’s changed my outlook on how I design, on how I look at products when I’m shopping, and my personal habits. this class has been very beneficial and I can’t wait to help make a difference through sustainable design!