Sustainability is the act and process of maintaining and item or system for an indefinite period of time. It is designing products to stay within the natural life cycle no matter what stage the product is at. It is about creating a good that is safe and beneficial to the environment in order to sustain and preserve nature to protect and maintain the lives that live on this planet. The definition of sustainability is not different to how I conceptualized the concept in the beginning of the year however, by learning new concepts and ideas to becoming more sustainable I believe it is more important and can be implemented into our already established infrastructure. Before I felt like there were too many barriers to making a more sustainable world and the ideas such as solar power and wind power were going to be too hard to switch to from fossil fuels, but now learning about the new concepts and designs that are being developed I think the idea is a lot more feasible.
There are several different learning outcomes that I find for important that I learned from this class. One concept I will always look at and refer to in the future will be biomimicry. I find this design strategy to be critical to building a more sustainable world as it is utilizing the same principals already happening in nature. I find this concept to be fascinating because it puts humans and nature closer together as we have to research, observe, and process what is happening in this world, we have to realize that the world and life on this planet is a lot more extensive and complicated than we think. When I first thought about sustainability I focused more on the ideas of recycling, reusing, slow fashion movements, and alternative energy resources and although these things are all important and the starting point to sustainability, there is so much more that can be done my manipulating and innovating the way we design things. When we came across the subject of biomimicry and biophilic design it advanced the way I think of sustainability and the endless possibilities to restricting the world we live in. I like to reflect on the TED talk of the lady who grows her own clothes, the office building AC unit that mimics a termite hut, and bamboo school in Bali, and many other designs that I learned through this class. Another important concept is thinking about the simple things that businesses and us as consumers can change to help reduce our carbon footprint. I really never thought about how big of a problem that packaging has on our environment and how unnecessary it is to use an abundance of plastic just to transport a package from point A to point B, just for it to be thrown away. Reflecting back I think about all the plastic, Styrofoam, and cardboard boxes that was instantly thrown away in my life time without even a second thought and I realize that many people do not think about it either. By simply changing the package design and material to create a biodegradable protective material can have such an impact on our world. I really like learning about the mushroom packaging that Dell uses that can be thrown in a garden as fertilizer.
Knowing what I know now, I want to learn more about different companies that are actually implementing these designs into their companies. And if they are not, I want to learn the barriers to switching to these methods. I want to know what is needed to motivate companies and consumers to not only being more aware but facilitating actions to make our world more sustainable and preserved for the future. What procedures can be done. Something I expected to learn but did not is learning about what exactly the government is doing about this situation. Although political, I believe that everything can be changed if there is more incentive from the government and less protecting and lobbying to the oil industry. I wanted to learn what companies and people are doing to arise these issues more to the government and how the government is responding.