I was so excited this week to be able to go see the botanical gardens! We rarely have “field trips” in college so being able to have a class outside of the classroom made for a great class period. I was also very interested to see what the Design Slam class would be like. The name intrigued me but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My favorite activity during the botanical gardens class was Activity 3 with trusting our senses. It was interesting to see how the environment could inspire us to think of solutions for common problems facing us today. My learning community’s problem statement for the Design Slam activity was about material waste. We were told to come up with an upcycling business to reuse old garments or fabrics. When my learning community was in the botanical gardens for activity 5, we were supposed to compare the components of a tree to industrial ecology and an apparel product. We compared a seed to a fiber, a root to the fabric, and so forth. The way we were comparing trees to an apparel product really put the Cradle-to-Cradle closed loop logic into perspective. I think having this activity beforehand helped my group to be able to think of our problem for Design Slam better as well. I think going to the botanical gardens really influenced my sustainable journey because we can see how a spot can be flourishing with so much life and foliage even on the edge of our college town. I know I have reduced my carbon footprint since beginning this class by using a reusable bottle instead of buying plastic ones. This small change eventually will contribute to helping the earth and its waste just by my changes in behavior.
My learning community brainstorms together really well. I was so excited this week to see in both the botanical gardens and design slam how easily our ideas fed off each other to develop ideas for each activity. In our design slam One Of A Kind Find we had a business where we would pick up old garments and let customers design their own outfits that had been repurposed and sent back to them reducing our material waste. We originally wanted to just make it a big deal about how we could pick it up from consumers but later realized the real key that would make consumers want to use our business was that they could have their own clothing materials redesigned into whatever they personally wanted, so we really emphasized the design part. I think material upcycling is very important as I have a design minor and have first hand seen how much muslin can be wasted when draping or patterning fit garments and sample garments to perfect the pattern. OSU does not even have a place where we can put our materials to be recycled. I saw so much muslin being wasted to go into large landfills that could have been repurposed or broken back down into the fiber stage. While I am on the topic of reducing waste, one of the other learning communities design slam’s that I liked the most was Virtual U. Working in a retail store this summer I realized how easily some of the mannequins can be broken. We would just take them from the floor and put them in the dumpster without ever thinking of where they will go. Their idea of repurposing them into funky furniture and having their mannequins be virtual seemed very logical and futuristic. I liked how they said while you walked by stores it would show your body in the store’s clothes. Another group who stood out to me was Pivot Through. I thought their idea of basically “smart doors” was very unique. Letting the “doors” regulate the temperature in your home and adjust the tinting at certain times of day seems like it would reduce waste and cut down on energy usage, which would aid in sustainable practices. It is exciting to see through design slam and the botanical gardens this week how much mine and my fellow classmates mindsets have evolved concerning sustainability.