Blog 2

Past Lectures

Tuesday’s lecture was on how we think. We watched Rachel Armstrong’s TED Talk over architecture that repairs itself. In the TED Talk, Rachel talked about how she believes that the only way to construct sustainable cities is to connect them to nature instead of isolating them from it. She is interested in the use of metabolic materials for the practice of architecture. Due to them not existing, she is working on creating them from scratch to make more sustainable cities. Rachel is pushing technologies into creating structures for architecture. She also thinks we need to outgrow architecture made of inert material and make it grow itself. I thought this was an interesting way to look at sustainability. I believe if cities were to be connected with nature, and the use of metabolism, they would slowly make the word a more sustainable place. We also watched Suzanne Lee’s TED Talk on growing your own clothes. She did this by brewing tea and adding living organisms to it to make fabric. She had a mini fabric farm. It was an all-organic process. I thought this was a interesting and different TED Talk. It made me want to try out the process myself. We also discussed the design process and how we could apply that to being sustainable. These TED Talks really put the “how we think” lecture into perspective to me because they challenged me to think in different, creative ways.

On Thursday, we discussed Biomimicry, which I will go into depth about later in the blog. We also discussed the living building and living product challenges. We also learned about the LOLA show and what we will be doing for that assignment.

Responsibility Mapping

The sustainability problem I discussed with my learning community that applied to my field was the amount of packaging, plastic, and waste that is produced for shipping/packing merchandise. This is an issue that has drastically risen due to the popularity of online shopping. Consumers and producers are responsible for this issue. It is something that needs to be focused on and changed. When thinking about how to bring aid to this issue, I simply think of shopping in brick and mortar stores as the main resolver. This would cut down on packaging being shipped to individuals homes that is simply trashed after opening the package. Stores could also give their customers an option to send back the packaging for the retailer to reuse. If they were to send a packaging label with their merchandise to the consumer, I believe many would return it to the retailer for reuse. They could even offer a slight discount to consumers who agreed to do this, such as free shipping. I could play the role of the consumer and the merchandiser for this issue. As a consumer, I could send back my own packing to be reused, and as a merchandiser I could present this idea to other retailers to see if they would be on board to participate as well.

 Abandoning Ship Titanistad

This article used the sinking of the Titanic ship as an analogy to the sinking, failing world we live in today. We are living in a dark age, and things need to be changed. It discusses what it means to “jump the ship” now, and what would be our lifeboats in this world. Passengers of the Titanic jumped overboard with no guarantee of life or where they were going, but they still took the leap of faith because they knew they needed to in order to survive. That is what we need in this world today. At this rate, our world is not going to survive if we don’t make changes. All we have to do is change our minds; our way of life, our habits, and our experiences. We have to simply invest in our future to have the possibility of having a good one. We need to reform rather than replace and make use of what we have wisely.

Self Narratives and Paradigms

Self narratives are about your personal beliefs, values, and assumptions. They are your life experiences. Discussing this in class helped me to think of my values and beliefs, and if they needed to be altered in order to become more sustainable. Paradigms are the lens through which we see the world; how we set goals, build barriers, and put rules into place. They are a collective pattern. An event that I picture at the tip of the iceberg is the recent natural disasters, which is believed to be caused by global warming. The patterns would be the multiple hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that have recently been occurring on our Earth. The structures are what we are possibly doing to cause all these horrible things happening. People do not realize they play a role in what is going on. Finally, the paradigm would be to create a practice that could help our Earth. We all need to change our ways, and the human race needs to implement more sustainable practices into our lives.

In Class Meditation

While meditating, I got a glimpse of my future. I was a wife and a mother living in a big city. We were successful, and I worked for a big corporation. Since we lived in a bigger city, none of my family members owned cars. We would walk to work. With the little backyard that we did have, we had a garden. I liked the thought of being sustainable in my future. By this time, I had changed many of my habits for the bettering of my environment and myself. It was a relaxing way to see the future.


We watched Janine Benyus’s second video on Biomimicry. She is a biologist who works with designers to solve problems by using nature. She believes that when solving problems, you should look to nature first. She urges to learn an idea from an organism and then apply it to life. She inspired designers to realize organisms had already solved problems they have spent their whole careers trying to solve. “Change the lens with which you see the world, and you will learn a lot more,” she stated. I thought it was interesting to watch the second video on Biomimicry and learn about it more in depth, after watching the first one in problem solving. We learned about the different levels of Biomimicry, and how to apply them to nature. It was also interesting hearing about the different researchers that had used Biomimicry in their careers, and how they applied it. I believe I could use this concept in similar ways. When I graduate and go into my field, I could take what I learned from Janine about problems and looking to nature and apply it to my career.

Yin Gao

Yin Gao, who is a fashion designer and a professor, is known around the world for her designs and fashion success. She combines urban designs, architecture, and media design to explore the world of clothing. She takes inspiration from different aspects of our world and environment and uses them as inspiration. Yin is known for her interactive garments that incorporate high end technology. She has designed and produced many outstanding garments, My favorite displayed an aesthetic and motion that resembled microbial life. It even reacted to facial expression. Her work has been recognized world wide, and she is a great example of a sustainable fashion designer.

Living Building Challenge

This challenge is a design for the future. The goal is to create buildings, which connects residents to light, air, food, nature, and community; for the building to be one. This is turn will create a beneficial, sustainable process. These buildings are to be self-sufficient and limit the resources they use. The goal of them is to produce more energy than they use, and treat all water on site. This would be an extremely sustainable concept. If this concept was to be applied to residential areas and all the homes in my neighborhood were to be like this, I feel we would be benefiting our environment greatly. We would be tackling multiple issues at once within our own homes and daily lives.




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