Sustainability Week 2

Tuesday’s lecture promoted changing and developing the way we think creatively and about the future. We are the catalysts that bring about change but without focusing on the future, we will not have a plan or know what needs changed. One article that we read for class discussed the dire need for action. We are in a time and place in which great change is needed or else the consequences will be devastating. This article was very serious, equating our situation to that of the Amistad and Titanic. This article was supplemented with another piece that focused on staying positive in our thoughts about the future. It explained that pessimism will limit one’s progress and ability to create solutions. Although things are not where they should be in our environment, if we think negatively about change, we will not be as successful in our endeavors to create change. The final article spoke about creating innovative products and ideas. The author imagines crazy and outlandish ideas and inventions, which have come to exist many years later. Creative ideas, such as his, can spark creative ideas in others and solutions can be made.

As designers we have several ways to be catalysts of change. By promoting ecologically responsible brands and products, conveying to our clients the importance of using sustainable products and technology, and getting involved in local, state, and national regulations and standards regarding sustainability we can make a difference. It all begins with thinking about the future and how we can personally change it, and implementing these changes. One way to think about the future is through meditation, which we practiced in class on Tuesday. In meditation, we can focus on many things, including creative solutions, innovative products, and the future as mentioned above. It is a simple practice that guides and focuses people mentally and is a good practice to incorporate into our routines more often.

Thursday’s lecture and readings focused on biomimicry. Biomimicry is imitating nature’s processes and ideas. There are different levels of biomimicry, as outlined in our reading before class, which are imitating nature’s forms, nature’s processes, and nature’s ecosystems. The second and third level of biomimicry invite change and sustainable practices into the picture. None of nature’s processes create waste and pollution or use more energy than it can store with its own purposes and biomimicry seeks to learn from nature and mimic these ideas to create better solutions for our problems. The TEDtalk introduced many ideas on biomimicry. It explained the difference between bio-assisted technology and biomimicry which really stuck with me. She also told a story of engineers that were inspired from seashells to create a solution to stop scaling in pipes. Nature holds many solutions for our problems if we learn how to look at it.

Asknature.org is a database on nature that can help people who are trying to mimic natural processes. It has information on many natural processes that can be the start of biomimicry if someone is inspired and learns from it. Our Wild Things assignment was another good way to creatively think and find inspiration. I liked passing our problems to other people and having them solve them because it brought in new perspectives and new solutions that the original group might not have thought of.

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