Blog #5: The Implementation of Sustainable Practices Today

home2.jpgFirst of all, who knew bamboo was so incredible? Bamboo is a wild brass that lives off of rainwater, spring water, and sunlight. It has the tensile strength of steel and the compressive strength of concrete, all while being hollow and lightweight. Bamboo itself is not successful though, as unprotected bamboo weathers. Bamboo does need safe home1.jpgtreatment to be created into things like the 6 story house in Bali. This house is so incredible and the structure is magnificent. There are fun architectural, but logical parts like a bathroom basket and doors with the hinges in the center. Bamboo has been used across tropical areas of the world for hundreds of years.

Something else that stuck out to me during class this week were the 10 steps to sustainable design. I have made examples of ways I can implement each strategy in my industry.

  1. Design to minimize waste: Ensure that every left over scrap of fabric is put towards another product
  2. Design for cyclability: Try to make an item that can withstand the trends of time
  3. Design to reduce chemical impacts: Clean leftover water from dye practices
  4. Design to reduce energy and water use: Find dye practices that require less water
  5. Design that explores cleaner and better technologies: Be willing to try new practices
  6. Design that looks at models from nature and history: Look at the world around you
  7. How is nature surviving? Try to implement biomimicry into your design
  8. Design for ethical production: ensure you are working for not only a legal company, but an ethical one. Just because something is rule following doesn’t mean its right
  9. Design to reduce the need to consume: Create items that fulfill many needs all at once, Like a bag that can be converted into a small purse
  10. Design to dematerialize and develop systems and services: Less is more! find ways to create products that are simple yet still aesthetically pleasing
  11. Design activism: Become a social innovator. Think about where your industry is and where you think it is going

This week I took a turn and decided to explore the area of interiors. I read the article “Biomimicry as a Problem Solving Methodology in Interior Architecture” and it really spoke to me. I loved seeing the images of the various types of buildings created to mimic nature. It was nice to see the division of buildings created to mimic the looks of nature and buildings created to mimic the practices of nature. This is a dividing line I had never noticed before. It is important that we remember just because something looks like it’s from nature, it doesn’t mean it’s following practices of nature.

Lastly, the create a product with sustainable concepts was fun. My learning community and I decided to create a jacket for hiking. We touched on the concepts of Biomimicry and Industrial Ecology. To create this jacket the spiders process of creating a web would be closely monitored. This would stop bugs from getting to the consumer while they are enjoying the outdoors, just like a spiders web is able to catch various insects. This item could be sold in stores like Bass Pro Shop.

Ultimately, my favorite thing about this week was learning about the bamboo. How incredible of a finding. Its growth rate is what makes it more appealing. I highly recommend the U.S. find more ways to integrate this type of building material into our construction plans.

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