The Final Chapter to Sustainability

Before I started wicked problems, I had no clue what a “wicked problem” was, let alone care about these “wicked problems”. Throughout this class, I have gained very helpful information that has helped me form my opinion on these wicked problems. I now can describe a wicked problem to someone, and talk about that problem and my view on it. I learned all about different wicked problems and some peopled viewpoints on how we should fix these issues. I learned a lot of what I know now from the readings we read, the discussions that we had, and the movie The 11th Hour.

This week in class, we went more in-depth into the ecological footprint that designers have on the world. Of course, I already knew that I left some form of an ecological footprint, but this week I learned even more about it. I also learned that my impact on ecological footprints as a designer could impact the world in a huge way, with even the smallest change. Could our industry really change climate change itself? I guess I will find out in my years as a professional exactly how much impact I could have on this wicked problem.

In class on Tuesday we discussed the yes/no article we read over whether the government should take part in our goal to make the world a more sustainable place. Once again, I got to read the “no” article. In the “no” article, it talked a lot about green buildings. The reading explained how expensive they were and how much of a significant impact they had on the environment. The article said that buildings account for 36% of energy use, 30% of greenhouse gas, 30% of raw materials use, 30% of waste output, and 12% of potable water consumption. I was shocked by some of these statistics, but not all of them. I knew that buildings used a lot of energy, but didn’t know about the greenhouse gases or the raw materials. The “no” article also said that federal legislation should resolve the issue of what constitutes green buildings by defining key metrics of sustainability. Also, its main point is that regulations are needed at the local, state, and national levels in the construction industry. I agree with this statement. If we aren’t making laws against it more people won’t even know it’s an issue, and will continue to trash the environment.  If the government doesn’t take part in this issue, it’ll just keep getting worse. The society cannot solve this issue by ourselves, we need laws and guidance for it to get resolved before it becomes too late.

From starting out not knowing and caring very little about the wicked problems in the world, to building my opinion on the problems and caring about them. I am so grateful that I was a part of this class to help me become more aware of issues around the world, and more specifically in our field. I will be able to take what I’ve learned, become even more aware, and use this information in my future job to help (hopefully) better our society, even if I only do a small part of it.

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