This week in class we talked more about sustainability in terms of how it relates to nature. We learned about biomimicry and we watched a few interesting Ted talks. The Ted talk that was most interesting to me was the one with Suzanne Lee about growing your own clothes. She was using bacteria in bathtubs to grow a skin like material and making it into wearable products. Of course the clothes she grew weren’t quite waterproof, but there is still time for her to perfect that process. To me it was almost a little bit gross watching her grow her own clothes, but still mesmerizing.
In our learning community we discussed sustainable issues like recycling, pollution, and waste and how we thought they could best be solved. We then broke that down into catalysts that could help create change. We thought that the government could potentially pass laws or create restrictions on certain things to help reduce pollution and dumping waste or give tax incentives for people who recycle. We also discussed how designers and manufacturers need to be more green. The fashion industry is killing the environment, but we need to be helping it. I believe that if everyone plays even a small part in becoming a more sustainable industry, we can make a big difference.
“Thinking Ahead” was all about being conscious about the future and not getting stuck in the past. I learned form this article that it is important to think about the future and not get stuck in our ways because we have the power and the creativity to change the future and make it into what we want. It is also important to continue to set new goals even when you complete your previous goals that way you are constantly growing and building. You do not want to challenge yourself and not get stuck in the past.
I think that both self-narratives and paradigms have to do with how we see the world. Self-narrative being focused more on our choices and our mindset about the world and paradigms a major collective view. In the dominant social paradigm the paradigm is at the bottom of the iceberg showing that things can only go up, there is room for growth. The different patterns and structures discussed were the idea of Titanic syndrome of people who think “if we are going down, we might as well go first class” and the Social Trap of people who think “everybody else is doing it so why shouldn’t I”? I think it is easy to fall into these thought processes, but we need to see that the iceberg is quickly approaching and we need to not give up or go down with the ship, but try our best to stop it.
The in class meditation was very relaxing. So relaxing that I think I actually fell asleep for a part of it. I learned from this exercise that family is very important to me. When I imagined my life as a 40 year-old woman, I imagined coming home from work to children and a husband and a dog. I was very happy to be with them and relax with them at home. So I would say that family is worth sustaining to me.
We talked a lot about biomimicry this week. I learned from class and the Ted Talk with Janine Benyus that biomimicry is the process of emulating nature. You could use biomimicry in many ways whether that be mimicking the color of something in nature or designing things the way insects or animals do. I learned that we should be focusing on working with nature rather than against it because nature can teach us a lot about how to build and create new things. It is important that we take a step back to learn and gain inspiration from the beauty that surrounds us.
Helen Storey was a fashion designer who became a social artist. Looking though her work in her bibliography was very interesting. My favorite of her work was Primitve Streak from 1997 to now. It reflects fashion and science and was created by her and her sister who is a biologist. I can see how her work could be seen as biomimicry especially in the relation of fashion and science in this project.
I think that the Living Building challenge was super interesting. This is a great example of biomimicry and sustainable living all in one. I think if we could create buildings with sustainability and nature in mind, we could massively decrease our carbon footprint and the mark we are leaving on this world. I hope that one day all residential buildings could be this way. This would help us all to limit the resources we use, save energy, and be more sustainable over all.