Blog #2

The past two lectures have been interesting to me because that have included various ways that people have designed for sustainability. Some of the examples include Rachel Armstrong with her ideas on how to change the though from imposing structure on matter, to making materials that can respond with the environment. Along with her TED Talk, I found Suzanne Lee’s TED episode to have a similar idea in that responding to the environments they are grown in grows her garments. I enjoyed hearing more on bio mimicry as well as discussing with my group different topics that related.

The responsibility mapping exercise was a great way to get my mind thinking about different problems that I see in our environment as well as different ways people play in the conversation. Some of the key catalysts to bring about change to sustainability problems include changing the mentality of recycling. This week I happened upon a brief video that corresponds to this idea. Norway makes people pay for their plastic bottles and encourages recycling by paying them back when they return them to machines placed around the city. I think a major catalyst to bringing change is the accessibility and cost of living sustainably. My group discussed how the government is not as concerned with smaller environmentally friendly organizations that would respond to the problems we are creating. On top of that we discussed that as citizens we can use social media and our access to the Internet to bring awareness to those around us. We can play a role that is influential as all of us have a responsibility to the Earth to reverse the damage we have done.

The cartoonist article explained many different instances where creativity could be found. I thought that this was particularly interesting as the artist found inspiration when he was driving energized in his car, but also in the groggy early mornings. I find myself to feel most creative or reflective in the later hours of the evening. Recently I started a project to create a fashion magazine collage in my closet, recycling the spreads as decorations myself rather than sending them off. I feel that people should recognize when they work well to increase efficiency and encourage new ideas. The artist also draws many wild ideas and then gradually moves toward more narrow ideas that will benefit the future. Starting broad is something that I feel people should remember more often when trying to create. I appreciate that this class allows us to think of the wildest ideas in order to get to the realistic. Lastly he draws many variations of the same object to brainstorm and create. For example he drew a yellow shape with many other shapes connected in several different ways to warm up his mind for innovating.

A paradigm is how we each see the world. I enjoyed Professor Jayadas’ example of seeing through lenses (as if wearing glasses). I feel that as individuals we all see the world in our own ways and the world can benefit from varying ideas brought from different viewpoints. I feel that we are all at our weakest when we are trying to conform to the norm. An example is consumption and materialism. We all need to remember not to see resources as objects for our taking, but instead view them as an asset. This is a pattern in paradigms that we can see in recent years in the world. The iceberg example showed that our paradigms shape our structures, which influence our patterns and then the events that occur. Our patterns have slowly been determined by the shifting viewpoint from caring for the Earth to only caring for our wants and desires.

The class meditation exercise was one of the most interesting experiences I have had in a classroom. When thinking about the future and what my life looked like I realized that around me was always very bright and light, with open environments that had green plants surrounding. I also noticed the most important aspect that my mind focused on was who I was with. While looking around “on my way to work” I noticed that there was no smog, no smoke, no darkness, just joy and fresh air. I feel that that is what is worth sustaining to me. This is natural beauty that comes from creation itself, not what we have imposed on it. This ties back into Rachel Armstrong’s TED talk about what resources and materials we use.

Biomimicry is one of the most fascinating ways to innovate in my opinion. Janine TED talks always amaze me because she discusses characteristics of even the smallest of creatures and ways that we can mimic their natural design to better our own. Some of the ones that I enjoyed specifically included her self-assembly example of the ocean pearls as well as the quench thirst examples. The questions that Janine imposed were great things to think about when innovating or designing. In particular the question “how does life make things” made me realize how creation is truly incredible and we have a lot to learn from its design. I might use biomimicry if I were to design a home. To do so I would try to incorporate different ways that energy, life, and self assembly is created. Professor Jayadas mentioned an example of something I may incorporate in my home when he spoke about the quenching thirst creatures that drink water from the air. He mentioned a device they are creating to allow humans to do something similar.

The designs by Ying Gao are very intriguing. These designs interact with their surroundings to produce movement in the garments. One of the ones I found after lecture was her design “Walking City” a garment that produces movement that imitates breath as the sensors and pneumatic mechanism is sown into the cotton and nylon. The design incorporates the ideas of origami that produces a beautiful piece of art that is honestly fascinating.

The living building challenge is another project that focuses on changing the viewpoint from taking resources to viewing them as an asset. The idea is to imagine a building that can work as easily and smoothly as a plant. This building would be able to produce its own energy, grow a garden, and more without using the nonrenewable resources that we all currently do today. I like the idea that the project is trying to shift the impact of humans from negatively impacting the environment to positively. I feel that these projects are inspiring and encourage people to better their everyday practices while keeping the idea that the future should look sustainable in mind.

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