Blog 6

Week 8 was a wrap up of biomimicry. The merchandising article this week discussed making packaging mimic nature. Some examples from the reading on how we can mimic nature in packaging were looking at how the pouch of a pelican can hold up to three gallons of water and then bounce back or the cells of fruits and vegetables and how they hold water. Benyus also discussed how we could eliminate waste in things like candy bar packaging. These packages are usually layered, but if we were to mimic insect cuticles we could have the same protection but with one sustainable layer versus 7 chemical layers. In class on Tuesday we completed a business canvas model with our learning communities. My group decided to pair with World Wildlife Fund in the creation of Stillwater Endangered Species Sanctuary in which our key activities were taking care of the animals, hosting volunteers, and teaching visitors about endangered species and how they can help make a difference. I felt like this structure was very useful in coming up with a business plan, it really helped us to map out what we wanted to do, what our values were, what we needed and how we were going to implement our plan. I would definitely use this in future planning scenarios to help me gather my thoughts and ideas. After wrapping up biomimicry, we moved on to the topic of empathic design on Thursday. Empathic design is designing something with someone else in mind, stepping into someone else’s shoes and designing based off their needs and not our own. My favorite TED Talk this week was the one with Paul Bennett from IDEO. He discussed designing for patients in hospitals. One problem was that all the patients see all day long is the ceiling. He wanted to make them more comfortable in the hospital by designing a way to make the ceilings less boring, public space more private, and create an overall more pleasant and less stale experience. At the end of class we explored the website desigingwithpeople.org. This site has a bunch of different tools and methods used for empathic design. One method I found interesting was lateral thinking in which a group of people experience a series of shared mental activities in order to come up with new design ideas. If I were to help improve the shopping experience for anyone, it would most likely be the older, baby boomer generation. As they are getting older, things are getting harder to see and harder to reach. I would make promotional signage in store with larger font or create lower shelving so that things are easier to reach. There are many things you could change to help them shop easier, and I believe that they are a generation worth considering making improvements for.

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