I have always thought that for our world to be more sustainable we need to change the way we think about sustainability in our everyday lives as we grow up. Our children should just know to recycle things. This week I was shopping in Sprouts when I overheard a mother asking her son to go throw a plastic bag away for her and as he walked towards the trash can he mumbled to himself saying “but its plastic we should be recycling it”. It warmed my heart that children ARE learning today that we need to recycle more.
This week in class we learned about a new thing I had never heard of or used before called a business canvas model. Doing one in class for the first time was a little nerve racking in such a short amount of time. However, the way that the model is set up it made it really easy to break down the important things needed to start a business. What I liked about it is when you think about starting a business just the thought can be overwhelming but the canvas model made it seem a lot easier.
Jasmine Burton’s Ted talk really opened up my eyes on what empathic design really is. It is amazing how something so important like bathrooms gets over looked and that 2.5 billion people around the world do not have access to a basic toilet. That shocked me. Empathic design is all about stepping into another person’s life and designing for what they really need and understand the details that are important to them not to the design. I feel using empathic design is really important to me as a designer to make sure that my designs are what the client needs and wants. For example, designing homes that have large accessible bathroom is really important. I never really realized that until my grandfather got sick and was using a wheelchair to get around. He did not have the ability to transfer himself on to the toilet and my much smaller grandmother had to lift him and move him onto the toilet multiple times a day. That process is a struggle itself not to mention that neither of the bathrooms on the first floor of her house were even large enough to fit a wheelchair into the room. The one is a power bath under the stairs and the other was a water closet off of their master bathroom. I never realized until the situation came up that the bathrooms being put into these “new” homes in my hometown are not accessible for older adults. That is something I hope I can change in the future I feel that it is important to design universally not only in homes but in other settings such as store.
When designing a store, I feel it is important to use empathic and universal design to make sure that all people can access the store. To design for someone in a wheelchair or someone that has mobility issues you can try to maneuver a space yourself using a wheelchair or other mobility accessory for a day. Seeing and experiencing things from their point of view will help when designing said store. Once you gather the data to design empathically you then need to remove yourself in order to use what you learned and apply that to design the best possible design. I truly feel that empathic design and universal design are the future for good designs.