Final Blog

When I started this class this semester, I thought sustainability was all about recycling and using less gas. I saw it as a little thing that didn’t really effect my life. Like many people on campus and the world, I thought just dumping my cans and plastic bottles in the recycling bin was enough. Sustainability to me was for quote on quote “tree huggers”. I also thought of sustainability as something only people who had money could truly invest in. “Solar panels and other sustainable equipment cost money that my college student budget can’t afford” was what I use to think. I didn’t look at sustainability as a full picture. Now after being in the class since January, I’ve learned sustainability is a way of life, it’s a movement in itself. Sustainability is about designing for the now and the future. To me its about finding innovative ways to reuse or create things that work with the environment, not against it. Sustainability to me includes being more flexible and functional. When creating something we have to think about how many uses that one design can do because that saves on materials and energy. The main thing I took was that to not be sustainable is to hurt the future.
We learned a lot during this semester but the two things I enjoyed the most was empathetic design and biophilic design. The one thing I like about empathetic design is designing with other people and the environment in mind. Empathetic design is something that I believe large companies often miss the mark on. We as merchandisers and designers have to think about how our designs effect others such as the disabled, elderly, and even just others beliefs. I got a better understanding of empathetic design when I did my LOLA. In the DHM program we have focused a lot on the elderly and I wanted to focus on something that affected people of all ages. Learning how retailers are taking the time to offer better shopping conditions for consumers with Autism was astounding. Empathetic design can include just tuning down the music, or having smaller, crowds, or even just dimming the lights. Empathetic design is designing with heart and understanding. Biophilic design to me is designing with nature in mind. When I think about Biophilia in merchandising, I see incorporating nature in the retail environment. When I open my store biophilia is something I plan on incorporating into my décor. I love the idea of using natural light, I can do that by having bigger windows so it can bring the outdoors in. Its not just about putting plants everywhere, I think putting an actual garden in the middle of the store will be great to have a beautiful place within the store that will relieve stress and bring the outdoors in.
This course taught me way more about sustainability than I ever though existed. I thought I was just going to learn more about recycling and reducing gases but I learned sustainability is smart design. Something that I want to learn about it biophilia in merchandising. I know that I already spoke on this topic but this something I want to incorporate in my future business, so I believe its very important that I get more knowledge on how I can include it in my business plan for my store. Although I learned a lot in this class, I can say I have a long way to go before I’m truly sustainable. The first step is being more aware of your carbon print and I now know mine is pretty bad. I recycle more on campus and anywhere that offers recycling but in the future I want to have my own recycling bin at home. I also want to learn more about composting. If my trimmings from my food can serve another purpose its worth looking more into. In the future I hope to take what I’ve learned about sustainability and not only use it in my own life but to introduce it to my loved one to create my own little sustainable community.

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