Blog #5

For week six in class, we were assigned a reading based on our major. My major is Apparel Merchandising and the reading that was required was about the impact of in store greenery on customers. The study was over big as well as small stores. Overall in my personal opinion I feel like in store greenery is an amazing thing. Before reading the article, I did not notice the impact that it had on me, but when reflecting on stores that I frequent I found that I visit those stores more often than others because of the “feel” or “vibe” that the store gives me. The study found that although the stress was not reduced in all store types; it did have a calming affect on many. In class on week six we also watched two videos. One was a TED Talk from Elora Hardy. Hardy spoke about the potential that bamboo has. Hardy began designing houses that were made from bamboo, and the houses are extremely intricate. One that Hardy produced included six stories as well as a big curving room to catch any breezes and a bridge. The bamboo houses do include the necessary luxuries of bathrooms. They can essentially make the houses anywhere and bamboo is a reliable source of material as it grows quickly and it can grow in many varied locations. Bamboo can be manipulated in many ways, which also allows for creative structure. Hardy first creates a small scale model of the house she is to build, then treats the bamboo with borax to make sure that it will be safe from any insects, and after that the building begins. Bamboo is extremely sustainable as it is grown, and it is definitely a better alternative to many other materials that use the heat, treat, and beat methods. The second video that was watched was of the edible spoons created in India. The company created edible spoons as a way to counteract waste from plastic cutlery. The edible spoons are made from millet, and have a nutritional value. The spoons also have a shelf life of three years, and are biodegradable so even if one didn’t want to consume the product, it can be thrown away without harming the environment. After watching the video, I wished that more companies would allow for sustainable concepts such as this to be readily available. Biophilia was a topic that was introduced in class on week six as well. .

Biophilia is defined as the love of life or living systems. One pattern from Biophilic design that I enjoy is visual connection with nature. I enjoy this design because it is really nice to visually be able to see nature in an office or a store setting or even at home. Being able to be connected with nature visually, is a peaceful concept to myself personally. Another Biophilic design that I enjoy is non-rhythmic sensory stimuli. This pattern appealed to me because it is something that occurs in nature, but not in a human setting. Clouds were an example of this Biophilic pattern that a classmate mentioned. Dr. Jayadas mentioned that many stores are considering putting non-rhythmic sensory stimuli in store settings and I feel like it could also be benefitted from in classroom settings to keep students as well as the instructor awake and refreshed. Presence of water is also a Biophillic patter that I enjoy. I like presence of water because the sound from the water in combination with the visual of the water itself has a very calming, reflective, and therapeutic feel. Finally, the last Biophillic pattern that I liked was complexity and order. I like complexity and order because it is complex and beautiful while having an order to it, which is aesthetically and mentally pleasing. The benefits of Biophillic design is that it can reconnect people with nature and increase the health and well-being of people also. Wednesday we learned about Eco design and spoke about the TED 10 principles.

Eco design is defined a an approach to designing products with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole lifecycle. It is apart of cradle-to-cradle concept. It is a Biomimetic approach to the design of products and systems. It models human industry on nature’s processes viewing materials as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. Eco design is important because it is a way to make sure that products are being created with sustainability in mind before it is created instead of trying to figure out what to do with the product after it has already been created and used. Finally in lecture we learned about the TED 10 principles. One principle that I liked was design to reduce energy and water use. Many products take water to initially create, such as organic cotton. Usually when using water to create a product you are going to be using energy when operating machinery necessary to produce the product. It is important to design with this knowledge in mind and try to design in a way that will reduce energy and water use. Another principle that I found interesting is design that looks at models from nature and history. This principle is important because it not only can it be beautiful to look at, but also sustainable. More companies would benefit from taking a look around them at what materials or concepts have already been created by nature. The materials could be cheaper, and could be manipulated in more ways than thought depending on what is used. The possibilities are endless with nature because there is always a process from almost any animal or plant that we can learn and benefit from.

Lastly required was to draw a sustainable picture. I chose to draw a smart sink. The sink that I drew is able to detect how much water is being used and is able to send alerts through an app when too much is being wasted depending upon the action. The alerts can be turned off, and the consumer will be able to use the sink to simply track their water consumption.

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