This was a very fun experience for me because, for one, I had never been to the Botanical Gardens before. I was interesting to take nature and its problems and solutions and relate it to my field of interior design. A major takeaway I got from this trip to the gardens was the lessons I learned after taking a tree and its parts and using this as a sustainable solution. A tree is one of the most complex yet simple systems in nature. Trees are a critical part of keeping all of nature in sync; however, it manages to take care of itself and everything surrounding it without harming the environment. It uses the ideal closed loop cycle of taking waste, using it to benefit growth and nature and continues to do so, over and over again. Society as a whole should look up to trees and nature as a major role model. By saying this, I mean that trees have naturally learned to take and give an equal amount, when they take something, they always give it back to nature and help encourage more growth. Humans only know how to take from the world and not necessarily give back. Nature should be a major influence as to how we should take from the environment and learn to take waste and give it back somehow, without harming any living system. This outdoor activity further opened by eyes to the corruption that we have caused in our world. It is so simple to look around us, the trees and all of nature, and take advantage of this free knowledge that nature gives us. Rather than take advantage and assume that we can live without nature, we should begin to open our eyes and realize that nature does not need us, we need it.
Design Slam I:
After experiencing the outdoor activity and having our eyes opened to the free knowledge that nature offers us, my learning community took these lessons and applied it to the problem handed to us. We were given a problem that included the older population not being pleased with the local shops around because they were not aesthetically pleasing. We were then asked to think of sustainable ways to draw the older populations into stores, while still creating an aesthetically pleasing storefront. One of the first solutions that we came up was thanks to what a tree’s system had taught us. A tree takes in water that falls to the earth and uses it as nutrients for itself, and as a result, also creates shelter and nutrients for the nature surrounding it. With that being said, we came up with a catch system on our awning that takes rainwater and uses it to water the gardens in front of our shop. As for our awning, we used a Sunbrella fabric because this company does not put any waste back into the landfills, uses solar panels at their plants and uses natural dyeing processes that do not give out toxins or reduce water use. We also wanted to use Raven windows that tint during the day so it is not too bright inside. This reduces the need for air conditioning. These windows also store the sunlight and use this energy to light the building later in the day when the sun is low.
Many groups had some very interesting ideas for the Design Slam I. There were two that stood out to me and those were the Virtual U and Conserge. Virtual U is an app that can be used to allow yourself to see how you would look in clothing at a store, without trying anything on or even walking inside the store. This reduces the waste and materials used to create mannequins in stores. Instead, everything is virtual, including the mannequin itself. This is beneficial to the stores because it offers and unique and intriguing way for these companies to communicate with their customers. Conserge is a company that created an app that could turn things off in your home if you forget, and as a result, save energy and money. All you do is check the app when you leave the house and it will tell you if you forget to shut the TV off, or the lights or even turn the air conditioner down. These two ideas were very unique and also realistic for the near future. Our society is advancing fast and we need to combat this by taking into consideration the rapid deterioration of the environment. As we advance, we need to become more sustainable or we will not have an earth to advance in.