Blog 9

Tim Brown’s Reading was very enlightening and interesting. Some points that I found interesting was about Aravind when Dr. V realized that he needed to treat patients the way they are used living (not having extravagant rooms for patients) so just meeting the medical standards was more economical to serve them. I also thought the Aurolab was an amazing idea. Making the lenses locally is so awesome because that cut costs and now the Aurolab is the biggest exporter of the lenses and sutures in the developing world. This is providing so many people with the proper medical care they need that would not have been possible without these designers or the treatment would come at a high cost.

Design Activism is having a design that is has the higher good for all in mind and is not motivated by money. I would say the goal is to be fair to all resources and people in the world. The idea of having two banks of human capital and nature capital was a good way for me to understand this concept. I think this is an important concept that many industries should work on implementing within their systems and areas.

Active design is more about creating places or items that promote physical activity to consumers. I think this concept is very important to implement in our society today. More physical activity never hurts anyone and is very important for everyone to be active every day. I liked the website link that showed all the different cities with these active design spaces. One that our group looked at was in Colorado and had a bike sharing idea. This concept was implemented this past year in downtown Oklahoma City. They are called Spokies and you can pay a fee for 30 minutes or you can buy a pass for a month and use the bike system whenever. They have all these stations with about ten bikes at each and you can return the bikes at whatever station you are closest to. They had this same concept in Los Angeles. When I was there with my internship this summer, we met a man who said that his company that he works for paid for his subscription to the bike service. I thought that was so great that his job was promoting this and even provided him with his pass.

I thought about a pair of jeans after we talked about the issues in factories that use sandblasting to create the light wash look. Human capital is abused in this practice because using the sandblasting technique is very harmful and even deadly to the workers who have to perform this process. Some countries have banned this practice but it is still happening and the whole process could be banned for the better of humankind. There is no reason to put people’s lives and health in danger for light wash jeans. The fashion industry needs to make a change and have better working conditions for factory workers.

One problem that I would hope to see one day solved is homelessness. I got the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, California this past Summer through my internship and I did not know how many people were homeless there. It was so sad to see on every single street we walked down in the downtown area there would be at least one homeless person on each street. I had never heard of Skid Row before going to LA. We drove through the area and it is just blocks of tents and tarps that these people set up as their shelter because they have no other place to go. This is the highest concentration of homeless people in the United States and it surrounds shelters but many of the shelters are at capacity or will refuse to take people in due to the person’s individual issues whether it is due to mental problems or drug problems. It is so sad to see this first hand and see that all these people need is help with their addictions or need professional medical help. Things I can do right now to help with this is to volunteer at a local shelter in downtown OKC and help in anyway I can. I know the Jesus House is a big shelter in OKC and have different volunteer positions year round and specific positions around the holidays. If I became a billionaire, I would like to open up my own shelter or create some type of program to get the homeless the help they actually need and provide them somewhere to sleep. The program would involve them getting help if they are addicted to drugs or if they have mental issues. For the people who are homeless without these issues, I would want to provide them with shelter and start the process of having them get back on their feet starting with finding a job, teaching them any skills they do not have like cooking, and then help with housing. Another program that OKC has is the Curbside Chronicle which is a magazine that employs the homeless and help them transition to help them get a job and find housing. They have to sell these magazines on the street and the price is $2 but people can give more if they want and  once the person employed sell their first 15 copies then they have to repurchase more magazines for $0.75 acting as a small business owner. The homeless people get to keep 100% of what they make off the donations. I think this is a wonderful program and I would want to have some type of transition program in my shelter. I would want to start with one shelter in a major city so starting out here in Oklahoma City and helping with the homeless rate and then moving on to bigger cities. Hopefully one day reaching Los Angeles and being able to not have LA be the city with the highest rate of homelessness. It makes me sad that their are not more programs or more shelters to help with this problem. Maybe it is a government issue and there is no funding with shelters or programs like this, I do not know enough about that side to know but I do know that there is way too many people homeless and there are so many people who could help.

The Sustainable Halloween party was a fun activity to have in class. My learning community found it somewhat challenging to come up with ideas that hit on every subject and we would have liked more time to brainstorm but overall we still had fun doing it. I liked hearing everyone else’s ideas because many of the other groups were able to hit on all the subjects so I liked seeing what they thought about for each one. We came up with having recycle bins for all of our trash to reduce all waste and to have the entire party be lit with candles reducing energy consumption and creating a spooky feel for our party.

The AATCC sustainability talk with Maria Thiry was interesting. It was nice to learn more about AATCC because I did not know too much about the group before. The coolest part about the talk to me was learning about the different groups or organizations that companies have joined to try to become more sustainable in their practices. It was nice to see big companies taking initiative and being proactive in these groups. Another point from the talk that I found interesting was about all the reports there is about apparel companies that truly tell you how well they are doing with sustainability and tell you how they are in their practices. I think these reports are important for consumers so that they are educated about the products they are purchasing and who they are supporting. I also think these are good for students like us who are about to graduate and look for jobs and seeing what these companies are actually doing helps in choosing a good company to work for.

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