I felt really inspired this week by everything we talked about in class. Even though I missed Tuesday Sustainability office trip because of car troubles, I felt like Thursday made up for it because I felt really engaged and focused during our lecture. It was all very interesting to me – starting off with Bakeys edible cutlery. I never have thought of plastic cutlery as being dangerous and to think, how many other things cause us harm that we use every day? I can think of many things that I do all day that I know will result in issues later on down the road, such as texting, posture, looking at screens all day, the things I consume or even something like skin care or not exercising like I should. Maybe there’s solutions for this right in front of our faces and we don’t even know it or take advantage of it. You hear of mud masks or mashed up avocado’s to help prevent wrinkles or help with skin issues – both things that we can grow and that come from nature. Elora Hardy has this idea by using bamboo to build houses and schools because it grows from nature, it is abundant, grows back fast, is strong and lives off rain water and sunlight. Substitutions for our unsustainable practices everyday could result in living a healthier life and making it a healthier world to live in.
I love music and pop culture and I know this isn’t relevant to nature really, but I watched a documentary last night about the band the Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl decided rather than spending thousands or even millions of dollars with a recording company, why not record an album in his own home for really cheap on an old tape where they wouldn’t be able to edit with all the computer systems, but they would be in the comfort of an inviting home in a familiar place where everyone can relax and connect in that way. I feel like that kind of connects with the conversation we had in class about incorporating nature to your surroundings to make you feel some type of way that inspires you – pleasurable environments that result in a beautiful outcome. They won Emmy’s on this record that was just recorded in a home on their own personal recording devices. Great things can come out of these situations – if we are needing to brainstorm an idea, it’s so hard to get good ideas if you are sitting in a boxy room with no windows and fluorescent lighting.
Growing up I remember always playing outside and connecting with nature. I would ride my bike all over my neighborhood or jump on my trampoline or go swimming everyday. I have distinct memories of going out to the farm where my dad and my grandpa would be working harvest and remember how much their hard work and dedication impacted my way of thinking. I remember always being happy when I was outside as a kid and how today, being in classrooms or at my job everyday, I’m not as happy as I once was. Of course there’s the stress of everyday adult life now, like bills and responsibilities but who’s to say that engaging with nature more couldn’t bring my stress level down? I enjoy classes outside because I think it brings a lot more inspiration to the way I think and do my work. We need daily contact with nature to create designs that tie into the 14 patterns.
While learning about the 14 patterns, I thought of something that I really enjoyed this summer. I interned in NYC and loved visiting the High Line. It is 1.45 mile long park/trail that was once a former New York Central Railroad in Manhattan. It has been redesigned as a “living system” with landscape architecture, urban design and ecology and gives you a visual connection with nature among all the buildings and structures people in NYC are so used to seeing. You have views of the Hudson River (giving you the presence of water) as you walk along and also beautiful skyline views of the city. I thought of how they incorporated “refuge” to this because there are many areas that have places to sit in the shade or take shelter from rain or bad weather and there are areas where people can perform or set up little markets and sell things. It also has a little bit of “mystery” because as you walk along, you really don’t know what you might see next. It has a connection with natural systems because the self-seeded grass, trees and plants that grow on the out-of-use rail tracks and the plant designer was inspired to “keep it wild” and the green roof system allows the plants to retain as much water as possible with the irrigation system. It’s amazing how they made something so beautiful and inspiring from an old railroad track. What if we could bring something that was dead or out of use, back to life? Like the 10 TED videos we watched, the people who created the High Line, found waste and explored clean/better options that makes history and developed a system for everyone to enjoy!