Blog 4

The botanical garden was so beautiful. The only thing I had a hard time with was the 100-degree weather! I have not been out to the gardens yet during my time as an OSU student. I am very interested by garden ecosystems and lifecycles and I draw a lot of inspiration for design ideas from plants. The activities we did helped to cultivate ideas and bring about realizations about nature. Throughout the activity it was reiterated that we should be building with the natural ecosystem of a tree in mind. It makes perfect sense to mimic nature in any way we can, as it has obviously been doing a good job sustaining itself. The activity had us thinking much more about biomimicry and what characteristics of nature should be recreated in our day-to-day lives. We also discussed that nature takes time to mature and develop and the beauty and performance of things in nature cannot be rushed. This is something that I think we need to reevaluate in the fashion industry. Everything is moving faster and faster, leaving a trail of waste and pollution behind without a second glance. I think it we should be creating timeless products that can be appreciated and eventually refurbished over time. This is something that I could implement in my sustainability journey. I think that I could be more proactive when buying products and buy longer-lasting products that are better quality.

The Design Slam was an exciting activity. Our group was posed with a problem statement addressing an uncle and nephew who practiced opposite extremes in shoe consumption. The uncle had one pair of slippers that he used for 23 year and the nephew bought 4-5 pairs of shoes per year. We were prompted us to find a happy medium between the two of these consumers that would be both economically friendly and maintain economic stability. We wanted to our brand to reduce current waste and be cradle to cradle so that it would also reduce future waste. We have learned about the “Pacific Trash Vortex” in other classes, so we decided to create a shoe entirely out of this waste material. We wanted to change consumer usage by marketing a yearly plan, only giving the customers the opportunity to buy shoes once a year and after they returned their previous pair. Essentially promoting a shoe for a shoe concept. The waste from that pair of shoes would then be used for the creation of a new pair of shoes and the cycle would continue.

Learning Community 6 presented the “Functional Furnishings” idea and this was a concept that really stood out to me. As a college student, and someone who has had to trash plenty of furniture thus far, I could personally benefit from this. I also liked that they were talking about combining old pieces into multipurpose furniture. This would be very handy for people who have small spaces or cannot afford multiple pieces. I also really liked Learning Community 4’s idea for the “Conserge” product. This is something that I know my parents could use. They are forgetful about turning off lights, and have the air conditioner blasting constantly. It would be great if their energy output could be regulated without them having to remember to do so. I think they were smart to think of having this product work “mindlessly” as people are often busy or forgetful and a lot of energy could be saved this way.

Most of the groups tried to incorporate the “closed loop” from industrial ecology and the C2C concept. These implementations are inherently mimicking nature. The outdoor activity reminded me that everything in nature acts in a closed loop. It’s an everlasting cycle and it was reiterated in the Design Slam that we need to be producing in this same way. There were a lot of takeaways from both activities this week that I am going to try to implement in not only my personal life but my professional life as well.


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