Blog 4

Week 5 was centered around Nature Centered Design and the Design Slam. On Monday, we discussed Nature Centered Design and talked about C2C. C2C is designing efficiently, meaning that every part of a design can be broken down, and all parts can be either upcycled or repurposed. C2C is different from the way many people today currently design, which is C2G (Cradle to Grave): our current (or traditional) form of consumption which we just use the products for the experience and just dispose of them when we are done. There are 3 main principles to the concept of C2C: use current solar income, celebrate diversity, and waste = food. The last principle of C2C is very important, because the idea that waste = food means that we have to use waste as a resource, and really value and appreciate every form of the products and things we are using as to not create MORE unnecessary waste. There are 2 metabolisms that are under the waste = food umbrella, Biological Metabolism (natural processes) and Technological Metabolism (technical processes). Biological Metabolism has ingredients that evolve from the biosphere, which means that they can return safely to the environment and feed environmental processes, while Technological Metabolism means that it is part of a closed loop because it is created by industrial processes. The metabolisms are there in order for consumers to understand that these are spheres in which “waste” can be reclaimed back into a system – by reusing them for their intended purposes (somehow, whether it be recycling or reusing). I use the term recycling loosely in the last sentence, as the true definition as we have learned in class is breaking things down back to the monomer level to then recreate something out of that, this is different than what most people think recycling is, which would to just sort their plastics and papers into different bins. The C2C activity that my LC did dealt with a store display. In this activity I learned that there are so many parts to think of even with just a store display. It is quite difficult to try to make a whole window display sustainable, but my LC and I decided that having some sort of screen with mannequins instead of real mannequins would be a great idea!

On Thursday we had our first Design Slam. Our LC’s problem to solve dealt with paper and plastic bags. When we first started brainstorming, we tried to understand if one was actually better for the environment than the other, but it came out to be that both were actually harmful for the environment. We ended up creating a few different solutions such as having retailers not offer either paper or plastic options in order to encourage shoppers to bring in their own reusable bags. My favorite idea that we came up with was actually thought up by Rana in our group, and she proposed having a “Mall Bag” which you can purchase at the mall and use to put in all of your purchased merchandise. The bags would have branding on the side (promotional considerations) from the stores inside of the mall. I thought this was such a great idea!

Other LCs also had great ideas, such as LC4 which was the “Dollar Energy” product, in which they would create awareness on campus by having dorms compete on who saves the most money, in turn saving the winner of the competition money on things such as tuition, or adding money to their bursar or meal plans. This was my favorite idea as it seemed the most feasible and also very interesting. LC5 also had an interesting idea with the “GreenBox,” which would be a store’s visual display, but instead it would be a greenhouse which people from the community could help tend to. I thought this idea as super cool, especially if it was possible to mix in merchandising some way into it, such as adding mannequins or props to make it even more eye-catching.

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