Blog #4

This week the class periods were highly entertaining and very enjoyable. The outdoor activity and design slam allowed my mind to think big in out-of-the-box ways. The out door activity offered some difficult prompts that made my group have to problem solve, similarly to the design slam. In both activities we were posed with questions that required problem solving skills and inspiration.

In the outdoor activity I enjoyed thinking as Janine Benyus would when delving into different ways that nature could fix problems that we have in the industrial world. In “Activity 2” I realized how hard it could be to find ways nature can interrupt the processed world to create something that grows in its own cycle and does not harm the Earth. My group discussed mostly on the resource consumption and how the fashion industry should adapt into a system that can grow itself and replenish the resources naturally. This idea sprang from many of the cycles in nature that are in the biosphere of life. Another major takeaway was that nature produces many different moods and can create different emotional experiences through the superficial level of its physical beauty. I am captivated by the way my group determined different aspects of nature to fall into the categories we were to take pictures of. An example is the way that nature produces the fierce cactus. Throughout the outdoor activities we had to use problem-solving skills like brainstorming and generating ideas in order to complete each activity.

Similarly, each group had to do the same in the design slam activity. I particularly enjoyed this class because it allowed me to look into the minds of other students and how they apply concepts from this class differently than I do. My group’s problem was the consumption and waste produced from mannequins. We created a virtual mannequin display that will decrease the resources used; create a one time cost for the company using it, and clear landfills of mannequins. This VirtualU product is software that consumers can interact with in window displays or in-store displays. When trying to come up with a solution, my group thought about what we would want as consumers as well as what the company would want. On top of both of these we thought about what Earth would want, if she had a say in it.

The other groups produced pretty interesting ideas to many problems. My favorite idea was to fix the storefront to become more sustainable while still maintaining an attraction to consumers. The group came up with a rainwater catching system that would be placed in a zig-zag pattern to catch rain water and save water consumption to water the gardens also located in the front. I enjoyed this idea because I would have never thought to use rainwater to help create a more sustainable store. The group also used glass from bottles and other waste to create mosaics in front of the store. I love art and mosaic patterns so I found this idea to also be a unique way to down-cycle these glass items. The second group I enjoyed worked on the Pivot Door, a system that will decrease the use of doors and the waste they can produce. The door system works on a hinge system that can remain open or closed throughout the day. The doors double as windows and can tint to conserve the energy of using an air conditioning system. What I particularly liked about this idea is that it was very inspired by nature. The tinting was inspired by the sun cycle, the glass uses biophilic design to reduce noise and heat. Lastly, the group that created the Conserge concept was intriguing. The device detects heat from humans, light, and technology. The purpose is to reduce energy consumption and it allows the consumer to conserve energy with little knowledge on the matter. It will create a report at the end of each month to let the consumer know how they can better practice sustainability as well. I find this report to be a detrimental piece to informing consumers on how they can individually better the world. Overall I enjoyed this week because we got the opportunity to use skills we have previously learned in order to be successful in these assignments.


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