At the beginning of this semester when this sustainability course began, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into. Much less, I didn’t know what exactly sustainability was or how big of an impact it supposedly had on the environment. Coming into the course, I would have defined sustainability as recycling and not much more but come to find out later on throughout the semester, I learned that it is so much more.
I would describe sustainability now, as using energy more efficiently and having it become a lifestyle, not just a couple of actions taken by a person when they randomly thought about it. I, myself, am not a sustainable person. I never think to go out of my way to do some of the outrageous things “green” people do and that is something that I am absolutely more conscious of knowing what I know now. As we got deeper into the subject of sustainability in the first couple of weeks, I saw how different people can live their lives to live a sustainable life, rather than just living and ultimately helping to destroy the planet.
On the other hand, we learned deeply on the subject of sustainable design, which is much different, I believe. Sustainable design is more about empathic design. So, I would describe sustainability as designing to make an environmentally safe and people conscious product. Making sure that a product has everyone in mind when it comes to end use, not just one age group or target market, and also keeping in mind the products life time value, not just a quick fix or fast fashion.
Like I mentioned before, I believe that sustainability revolves around the thoughts of empathic design. This might be because they stood out to me the most throughout the semester but I do think that these ideas play a huge roll in how sustainability is going to be thought about in the future. So, empathic design basically is, designing for everyone. Empathic design is focused on how the user will get the best use out of the product and how more than just one target market will be able to use the product or design. During this section of the semester, one topic we really focused on was designing for the elderly. This topic really stuck out to me because I honestly never thought about how designs affect elderly members of society. This was actually a very sad realization because most buildings and normal daily activities for me are not as normal and easy to use for the elderly. These are the types of realizations that sustainability will provide in the future so that no member of society won’t be forgotten.
Knowing what I know now from this class, I can honestly say that there is not much else I would like to learn. I will admit that there have been some interesting topics that we have covered in this class but the majority of it will not have an impact on my future career. I’m not sure of what I expected out of this course but I don’t feel that it was imperative to my college degree or my future in my career path.