Blog 5

Through the class reading on Monday, the topic of in-store greenery was addressed through the observations of a study done. This study showed that consumers were not stimulated or excited by the added greenery in the store but the store did however receive positive impact based on the plants presence. Overall the article touched on how utilizing plants in the store front can be beneficial to businesses in the long run.

Also in Mondays class, we listened to the TED talk by Elora Hardy in which she discussed using natural materials in sustainable design, such as building bamboo houses. She uses the natural resource bamboo because it has tensile strength, lightweight for transportation needs, and flexibility. Elora’s company utilizes 7 different types of bamboo. Since this natural resource is prone to bugs and decay, Elora mentions the use of borax natural salt to treat the bamboo accordingly to make it durable. Her intended goal through this TED talk was to inspire people through the craftsmanship and artisan design of sustainable natural resources. She proses the evoking though for people to look at materials in nature and as oneself what it would like to become and utilize it in your aspirations. This TED talk showed how if we expand our mind and have the mindset of how we can use natural resources instead of making products, the creative and unique designs can be sustainable for our future down the road. We also discussed a company called Bakeys in India who came up with the creation of edible spoons that were made soley out of natural ingredients. The video talked about how it could not only add taste to the food in which one was eating but also was unharmful to the environment compared to plastic spoons.

The definition of biophilia is simple really, it’s the love for life. This deals with connecting different aspects of life into various processes and actions, humans need to connect with nature. For me personally, I think of the emotional effects nature can have on someones emotions. For example, a cloudy day gives a feeling of gloominess while a sunny day can trigger a sense of happiness. Water is another great example further discussed in my blog below. The benefits of biophilic designs stems from the importance it plays on improving people’s physical and mental health.  Three patterns of biophilic design that were discussed in class that I feel like I can personally relate to are as follows:

  1. Thermal & Airflow Variability: there is nothing I love more than going to a naturally designed park on a sunny day. The idea of being surrounded by nature, fresh air, and sunlight brings a sense of happiness to where my mindset shifts to a place of encouragement.
  2. Presence of Water: hearing the sound of water is a soothing peaceful noise to relax the mind and put one’s body in the state of sleep or calming spirit. I think about times where I play the sound of waterfalls or water streaming in order to drown out the noise, stop my mind from wondering, and allow myself to fall into a deep sleep.
  3. Complexity & Order: the various dynamics and use of color like the Summer Palace in Beijing, China is one patter that stood out to me. Since it deals with complex design of natural materials, this is an aspect that I find intriguing.

In Wednesdays class we discussed the concept of eco-Design and how it deals with the environmental impact a product will have over the course of its life cycle. It’s the idea of designing a product with this in mind. I think that this a concept that all designers should take in consideration in order to pursue a more sustainable life for our future. Two of the TED 10 principles that I found particularly interesting are as follows:

  1. Design for Cyclability: is the idea of designing products out of materials that can either be upcycled, disassembled, or into monomateriality. Upcycling is the idea that once the material is done being used for that specific product form, it will then be reused into a different product style. Although there are multiple examples of what this can look like, I personally love the concept of old suitcases being upcycled into the base of a chair. It reminds me of a Ted talk I watched in my DHM problem solving course where Dan Philips utilized irregular/recycled materials for functional uses in building houses.
  2. Design that Looks at Models from Nature & History: it’s the idea of designing from the knowledge of natures resources and past history. It’s the idea of designers reaching to become more sustainable by investigating past textile habits and innovating new processes towards their sustainable goal; instead of creating new resources, utilizing what resources we already have. It was interesting when it discussed the concept of innovating technologies to help us mass produce natural resources by telling nature what to make. This concept derives around combing natures knowledge with that of the human.

Also on Wednesday, my learning community came up with the campus sustainability project based around creating an on-campus garden. This concept had four main points: the garden app, compost area, on-campus food, place of meditation. For the garden app aspect, it would be created to inform students on how the garden is helping out on campus (types of food they can find in dining services) and the various volunteer times available (for students interested in watering, planting, and sustainability practices). The compost area will be created for students to drop off materials that could later be used in the garden  decorations or for fertilizer. The garden will also provide food for on-campus dining services to ensure a more organic food option for students as well as assisting in eliminating transportation emissions. Overall the garden will be a place of meditation for students to come for relaxation, an ease of mind, and a stress reliever. The benches for meditation will be made out of repurposed wood. img_7621.jpg

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