For the outdoor activity, we had actually had a lot of fun as a group reflecting on experiencing and reflecting on the nature as it relates to biomimicry and industrial ecology. We found a quiet place where we could think and really be able to brainstorm about what a jacket/building must be able to do. Some of the things we came up with for both objects (Activity 1) were things like being able to resist wind, fitting people inside of them, insulating, and even be aesthetically pleasing. Next, we brainstormed different functions a tree would perform. Things like being able to produce its own food, providing shade, producing oxygen, etc. Then we started to match the different functions. It was crazy to see how many matched up. Some of the similarities between the tree and the jacket and building were that all three provided a form of shelter and all three had different “layers” in a sense. This activity really made you look at the many different ways you could apply biomimicry to everyday objects and possibly innovate to make products more sustainable. The second activity we did had as reflect on products that we use in our field. One object we came up with was paint. We looked a soils, the stain that grass leaves, and even the coloring off of flowers when you rub them against something.
On Thursday we all participated in Design Slam in which all of the groups were given a problem and we had to come up with a solution. Our problem was figuring out how to essentially reduce the waste from building stairs. This was kind of a difficult one, but our solution ended up being “recycled can stairs.” Aluminum is recycled at a rate of 96% from construction sites and is one of the most sustainable materials you can use in building, going all the way back to the way it is manufactured. It is also extremely strong and durable for how much it weighs as well.
Two groups that stood out to me during the Design Slam was the group that used the bamboo and the Blink group about occupancy sensors. Both were very sustainable ideas, but also considered design, which is obviously very important. It is not only important for people in our line of work to think green, but it is also very important for us to think about function, form, and aesthetics.