Blog 9

In the design probes activity I learned that it takes a lot to create something and coordinate empathic design into it. I also learned that empathic design may be difficult, but if the right product is created it will allow for a steady client base. The in class activity was about having, being, or doing. My group’s concept was to create a new and meaningful way of HAVING a product. The concept that we created was a t-shirt. Underprivileged children in America would produce the t-shirt that we created. The children would be of working age and the proceeds to that are made from that shirt would go to a college fund for the children. Many do not get the opportunity to come to school, and so this project would be an encouragement for many. Education should be valued at an all time high and that is why we wanted to create a product that would make anyone proud to both purchase and wear.

The concept for this week was really centered around sustainability in the clothing area. The little brown dress is one interesting topic that was discussed. A woman came up with the concept of wearing the exact same dress for an extended period of time and nothing else. The reason behind this, is that people are extremely wasteful in regards to the textile industry. Whether the textile industry is wasteful with fabrics, or people are wasteful in their purchasing habits for textiles, the goal of this project was to keep one item and not purchase another. The garment was obviously washed during important times, but the message behind why this was done is amazing and I feel like the would would be a better place if everyone did this even if it was on a smaller scale. In the same talk, we spoke about IKEA’s Flat Pack Modular Designs. This was an interesting topic to discuss because it was something new for me to learn. IKEA is no doubt a very creative company and so it comes to no surprise that they developed a home that is able to be completely created and designed in store and can be taken down and moved. Threadless was another topic. Threadless was made to counteract the negative effects of textile waste in regards to manufacturers. Threadless is a website that offers made to order clothing. It only uses as much fabric as needed, and is a great way to save those fabrics. Something more to delve into was the UK’s Social Value Act. This act was put in place to conserve energy.

The UK is known for tea and many residents waste energy cooking more tea than they even need. A smart inventor came up with the idea to make a device that saves energy. The solution to this waste of energy was a tea kettle with a pump so that if the person wants to make tea, they have to pump by hand as much as they need or desire. This was proven to counteract the energy waste. Poor working conditions and the cost of a t-shirt were also discussed. Many places overseas do not have worker regulations. Companies based in America will hire overseas manufacturers to create clothing at a cheaper cost. The cost though, is poor working conditions. Many are hired and not allowed to leave until a quota is met, and sometimes workers get hurt on the job or do not get fed, and the companies are turning a blind eye. To truly make a difference one must make a stand and simply take their business everywhere. Businesses today control a large portion of our daily lives and this will continue until someone sticks up for those who do not have a voice. The cost of a t-shirt really surprised me. T-shirts are not expensive to product, but many companies have begun to get extremely greedy and the prices are raised. I do not mind paying more for quality as well as paying more to ensure that workers are being taken care of fairly, but many companies are not ethical in that way. Today, it is considered a money saving and smart move to rip consumers off which Is extremely sad.

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