This past week in sustainability we were to prepare a design probes package showing our everyday lives. In my probe package, over the course of two days, I showed what I wore, ate, and activities I did throughout that day. In the two days that I documented my main activities were going to classes, working, and going to the gym. The clothes that I wore on those two days were more of leisure clothing; t-shirt, leggings, tennis shoes, ect. My moods during those days were happy and energetic. The next class period we were to meet we did an activity with these design probes packages. Each learning community was given a probes package from a member of a different learning community, this way we did not know who the package belonged to. Once we as a group went through the probes package we were to design something for this person that we thought they would enjoy and get use out of this object. Looking through this person’s probes package we quickly found out that they liked traveling and going to music festivals. This led us to make this person a “concert travel bag”. In this backpack we added special features such as a charging port, department for walking shoes, a place to keep your cards safe, and a water bottle compartment. After presenting this to our customer her feedback was that she loved it and would actually get a lot of use out of the bag.
During this past week we also talked about Human Needs. We started off this class by doing an activity called the Happiness Barometer. During this activity we were to rank our happiness on these different questions presented to us. Each of these items is related to an indicator of happiness or well-being, but they are also indicators of human needs, things that, regardless of our culture and upbringing, we have to some degree. Thinking about this activity and then talking about the little brown dress really made me think about my needs verse wants. It was incredible hearing Alex’s story about her little brown dress and her story behind it. Alex is simply recycling, re-mixing, and re-fabbing all of her clothes. She says she does not wear anything that she has not made her self. She has completely closed the loop by recycling 100% from her own closet. Talking about Alex’s story then talking about the cost of a t-shirt is almost sad. We have people in factories that are making shirts and working for little to nothing. If we were to increase these prices we could be helping out everyone. The workers would be getting paid better and maybe the consumer would be more likely to start recycling some. We all need to start look at the big picture and not only worrying about ourselves but also trying to make the world a better place to live in. Today these lectures have opened my eyes and taught me that I need to work better on seeing the big picture of things in our world.