This week’s focus was design activism. In the reading by Tim Brown we learned that we should design for purpose not profit. Instead of focusing on the money aspect of design we should be focusing on the people we are designing for. We should be implementing design thinking in our design process and create things to solve problems not just to “perform”. At first I was confused on the difference between design activism and active design, but after learning more about it in lecture I realized that active design is about designing for an active/healthy lifestyle where as design activism is designing to solve a problem. In lecture we also talked about natural and human capital. Natural capital is the use of resources from nature and human has to do with labor and the manufacturing process. An example of how natural and human capital can be involved in the process of creating a piece of furniture that we discussed in class was the Katrina project in which they created a neighborhood furniture making workshop building furniture using debris from hurricane Katrina. It trained community members to make furniture and provided business while residents were rebuilding. This made me think about the problem with the recent hurricane in Houston. There is a lot of rebuilding to be done down on the coast, and I think we could collect debris to be recycled and reused to rebuild homes that were destroyed. This would be a very sustainable way to solve the issue of all the homes lost by Hurricane Harvey.
Tuesday also happened to be Halloween, so we got to get with our learning communities and plan a sustainable Halloween party. My group planned to carve pumpkins and use the inside to make the food for the party, then replant the seeds for next years pumpkins and once the shell of the pumpkin was no longer good, we would compost it. We also planed a sustainable costume contest in which we asked our guests to come up with a sustainable costume design that was inspired by nature. We had a lot of fun with this activity. On Thursday we had a guest speaker, Maria Thiry, who talked to us about AATCC. I learned from her visit that fashion is the most unsustainable industry and most of the unsustainable part of the clothing cycle comes from post purchase. As consumers, we are the most unsustainable part of the clothing cycle because of the laundry process. I also learned that carpet is the most sustainable industry. She also talked to us about the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental, and how becoming a member of the AATCC will offer great networking and membership database.