This week was interesting to say the least, coming off of homecoming made for an interesting outlook on what we learned in class. One of those things being, the question and answer survey that we completed. Looking at the activity after class my answers weren’t where I would have liked for them to be. Which got me to thinking, as a community we take for granted how much we truly have; we always want things to go our way. As consumers we can continue to purchase goods that we want, but we are not really filling our human needs. Because we are putting value into items that we do not have any emotional attachment to, we are contributing to waste. We need to look at our hierarchy of needs; as designers as well as consumers. If we can find a way to use empathetic design into designing for the world as a whole, we will design more for what is needed. Which will lead to people placing more value into their goods, from that they will be more opt to holding onto items instead of getting rid of them at the drop of a hat.
During the learning community we were assigned ‘Being’, the quote that came with that concept really spoke to us: “moves the heart, revives the soul, delights the senses”. From that quote we decided to create a design concept using aromatherapy. Something that can be placed in any room, there are studies that show aromatherapy can help with healing processes and what better to incorporate that than interior design. This also can be related to empathetic design, the topic that was covered in last weeks’ lectures. Instead of sticking a patient in a room where they are staring at the ceiling, we can be working to keep the patient calm, and to make them feel comfortable. Possibly even using essential oils in the rooms to make their healing process a more calm experience. Knowing that something so simple can change everything about someone’s life should move us as designers to want to be the change.
Later in the week we had a design activity in our learning communities about NGO’s (non-governmental organizations). As a group we chose to work with Textile Exchange, which was basically a certification organization. They made sure that the textiles were being made in a sustainable way. From their concept we decided to create a next step concept, a way of educating the consumer. Instead of just certifying the manufacturer. We wanted to partner with retailers that sell merchandise that was made with sustainable fabrics. That way we could shift the consumers mindset of value, and to see that they are investing in products that are going to last them a long period of time. Something that was relatable to the story of the little brown dress that we talked about in class. This is something that we should consider as retailers, even if we market it ourselves after college. As a designer or even owning a business this is a strategy that could start a trend and set a brand apart from another.
Finally, I calculated my carbon footprint this week and it was 11 tonnes. I really haven’t changed much in terms of my lifestyle this semester. Mostly because I’m rarely home, unless I’m sleeping or doing homework. It seems to be smaller compared to the other website we used, but that may be because I couldn’t find my car on this website. And it seemed like it asked different questions. But the comparisons between the ideal footprint and mine seemed to be about the same. Hopefully after college I can move towards changing that lifestyle.