When starting out in this course I didn’t fully know what sustainability was. I had a vague idea of being green. In taking this course I learned that it is much more than I thought. My view of sustainability is that it is taking the necessary steps to be sustainable so that the future environment will be around. Keeping the environment in a continuous lifecycle. When you take something from the Earth you need to replace it.
There were a couple of things that I really enjoyed studying this semester. First of all I really enjoyed learning about biomimicry. This is where we as designers take natures way of doing things and turn it into functional designs. I really enjoyed the Suzanne Lee talk. It was about fashion design, and making clothing material out of tea. While this a great idea, it is not fool proof yet. It is not water resistant. It is a great building idea to get the fashion industry in thinking of new ways that we can create textiles out of materials that we can grow. It is a cost efficient and sustainable way to create fabric. In Rachel Armstrong’s talk she proposes an idea to reevaluate the way we look at building materials. She sates that we should use living structures to build. She is trying to generate a conversation with limestone and carbon. She is trying to grow limestone, so that they can reclaim types of buildings. Her example is Venice. She wants the limestone to regenerate over the wooden structure under the city so it is hardened. I find this interesting because when I think about stuff submerged under water I feel like it would deteriorate instead of rebuild. I feel as though this protocell technology could be used in more areas than just architecture. I feel like there could be a strong market for it in the area of interior design. I know we talked about in class today how if we take away a resource we should find a way to replace it. This could be one way to replace a resource without hurting the environment.
I also was excited to learn about empathic design. It is interesting to take on someone else’s perspective and their needs when trying to design for a specific target. I really enjoyed going to the lab to test out the different equipment in there. The glasses showing all the different diseases and impairments that elderly people face, was terrifying. It was also interesting to view the people in the different GERT suits and try to preform everyday activities. I enjoyed doing the design probes and the visit to Oakcreek. This was very helpful to get a more in-depth look at empathic design.
I feel like I can use what I learned in this class to take sustainability with me when I go out and get a job. It will be helpful to use the things I learned to help my company with sustainable designs. I will also use these things to in my day-to-day life. One thing that I am more interested in learning more about is biomimicry when it pertains to packaging.