The lecture on Monday started out with a brief introduction to the Sustainability at OSU, which I have been quite curious about since I heard about it at the beginning of the semester. I was surprised to see that not only does Oklahoma State have an EPA honors, but we have received a STARS Silver rating for our sustainability efforts. I also noticed on our webpage that a video was made to promote recycling on campus (endorsed by one of our basketball players, Michael Cobbins). This is a great use of ethos with a little dash of humor in order to start the spread of knowledge on recycling for our campus life. As I have previously stated in my first blog, I think this is a great first step to informing others about sustainability in order to enact change.
On Wednesday’s lecture, there were two TED talk videos which used new growth structures in both architecture and fashion to create a whole new process for creation without the use of non-renewable resources. Previously I was unaware that such processes had yet to exist, so to see the process described as well as how it could be applied to everyday problems. This not only gave me a since of hope for the future of design as well as inspiration that it was possible to find other sustainable solutions in the apparel industry to come.
Easter Island: I found the article over Easter Island incredibly eye opening as an example for a possible future of the earth we live on, and how easily a culture’s mindset and way of life can blind a whole civilization to the devastation it is causing. With the complete deforestation of the island, the people were then forced to change their ways of life, unable to escape the island that reverted them to barbaric means.
Dust Bowl: When discussing the Dust Bowl, I was surprised to find that regardless of the many times that we had discussed the event from Elementary school to high school, for some reason I had never made the connection of the Dust Bowl to American consumerism. We had always discussed the How and the effects on the way of life all over the U.S., but never looked at the Why. I think when taking this event into account in a sustainability point of view, it’s easy to see how the start of the consumerism and manufacturing mindset was more core to this problem than any other, as well as the ignorance of the needs of the natural world and what happens when we impose our will onto the land without taking into consideration the consequences to come.
Sustainability Problems in my Field: It is clear to see that there are still many sustainability issues that need to be addressed on every level of the Apparel industry. From the use of fossil fuel vehicles to transport goods to the excessive use of water and pesticides in cotton, there are many things to still be improved and addressed. Thought there are upsides and downsides to each aspect of change, I think the most important is to change the mindset of sustainability with the designer, which will then empower them to make sustainable choices when choosing suppliers and other construction aspects. I think once the mindset of the designers are changed, then the industry will feel the pressure to change their ways in order to meet the requirements and visions of the designer.
Article Read for Wednesday: There was one article from Wednesday’s reading that I found the most beneficial named Thinking Ahead: The Value of Future Consciousness. Though taking the future into account is something we all do on a daily basis, I found that this article was super insightful on a subject that I had previously thought that I fully comprehended. I think it was the connection of creativity, self-narrative, foresight, and self-efficacy all wrapped into one concept that was able to show me a more in-depth analysis of the goals and we set and whether or not we can reach them. This is truly the perfect seed to connect goals of changing and re-imagining the future to the present day and what goals we choose to chase now. Sustainability goals in particular seem like a further goal than many others, and the best way to reach those goals is to have a base belief in yourself and your own ability.
Wild Things Design Concept: Our group created a list of solutions to promoting awareness of Sustainability rather than try and solve any one problem, which I think is one of the first most important steps in the process. Since the concept wanted us to write ideas that may or may not be plausible, I found that some of the furthest stretches in our brainstorming lead to our main idea, which was to start with the designers that created clothing for celebrities (in particular, President Trump and the First Lady) in order to publicize the use of sustainability to the world.
Self-Narratives and Paradigms: As previously stated, I think self-narratives and paradigms are crucial to the beginnings of strong goals, an open mind, and the ability to reach the goals you set. A strong self-narrative also gives you direction, meaning, and a will to learn more about the world which to me are crucial steps to innovative design. When relating this to the “Iceberg” metaphor and the use of paradigms at the base of the iceberg, it is clear to see this is the base of all change that will eventually trickle up to the change that we can see in our society around us. A simple change in mindset can then lead to a change we start in our community, which then can call the attention of others. Once a community can adapt a concept, the structure of society can feel the pressure to adapt these concepts as well. From here patterns form, which in turn create a visible change we can see. I think this could be related easily to the apparel industry, and how sustainable fashion worn by consumers is the perfect “tip of the iceberg” that can be seen in society.
In-Class Meditation Reflection: Since I was not able to join in the in-class meditation due to class overlaps, I did my own little meditation at home to visualize what kind of future I would like and what is worth sustaining in this world. I think the most important thing to retain is a human’s capacity to create, love, and adapt. Adaptation is a human ability, but I think we had forgotten how to live in harmony with the world and instead use our ability to innovate and create to instead change the world to fit our own lives. I think changing this mindset may be one of the most important conditions when approaching and considering a different future (rather than the one we are currently heading toward). Once this capacity of adaptation is realized, we can then begin to innovate and re-create our lives in a new light. As to what that future will be… that can only be seen with time, but I hope it will be one where we only take what we need, rather than what we want.