My Sustainable Journey Blog 4

This week was an interesting but fun week of class. Starting off the week with an outdoor activity at the botanical gardens was so much fun. Unfortunately, it was so hot I really thought it was going to be miserable, but my group and I found a nice shady spot and set up shop to work on our assignment. It was an interesting assignment because we sit in class every week talking about sustainability and biomimicry but it’s a whole different learning experience when you are sitting in nature and relating nature to things like buildings and the functions of our society. It really makes you appreciate your surroundings more and want to make sure to practice more sustainable ideas to keep our environment thriving.

To practice more sustainable ideas and designs my learning community and I designed a sustainable store front for our design slam. Our problem was that the older adult community at Oak Creek in Stillwater did not like the local clothing stores. They felt that they were “Boxy and boring” and wanted a store that had a more local feel and nature involved with the design. For our store front we started with have a sustainable solution for the windows that have self-tinting abilities. When the sun and heat hits the glass they automatically tint to save on energy within the store. We then designed an awning for the exterior using Sunbrella fabric. Sunbrella is a sustainable company and is very open with how their products are made. Also, Fabricut a company based in Tulsa that carries Sunbrella’s fabrics so it is a local source! Underneath our awning, we have a raised garden with a rain water catch system to collect water from the awning to water the garden. Finally, for some local color we would use locally collected recycled glass to make a mosaic design in between the rain water drip pipes for a fun attraction to our store front.

I was not looking forward to the design slam cause while I work well under pressure it does stress me out, but it turned out not to be too bad! Some of the other groups also had great ideas for their sustainability problems that were really interesting! I like what learning community #7 did with the Virtual U concept. I would love to go into and shop at a store that had virtual manikins that would really show me how the products would look on me. I also liked the design that learning community #14 had with their 75degrees jacket. It would keep the wearer warm during the winter months and can be broken down and worn as a light layer during the warmer months as well. Their design cuts down on the need for multiple jackets or coats and can also be used for the homeless community to sleep in because it can cover their hands and legs to keep them warms while sleeping. While I did not think I would enjoy the design slam it was very entertaining to see all of the different and creative solutions that each group came up with for their individual problems! Overall two fun and interesting classes this week!

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