Blog 9

From the Tim Brown’s reading I learned that it is very important to cultivate the young minds of tomorrow’s generation. I think design activism goes an extra step besides just answering the problem at hand. I really liked the example in the book about how the designers were asked to come up with a design for a school that the teachers could use and implement in their teaching methods with the students. Ultimately, design activism tries to answer a problem that will benefit a lot of people rather than just a small niche. I think that is one particular difference that design activism has that other types of designs lack.

A blouse in my closet that was made in China withdrew from natural capital when it was distributed and transported to the United States. This same blouse also withdrew from human capital by having been made by cheap labor overseas. What they could have done differently was decide to make it within the United States. By making the product in the same country that it is going to be distributed to they will eliminate the vast amount of natural capital it would take up by not having to transport the product long distances. They could reduce the amount of human capital by having workers in the United States make the product. The labor would not be as cheap as the labor would be in China and the working conditions would be better for the workers.

In Portland, Oregon the homeless population has grown in recent years. I believe in helping the homeless but in order to help them we must find a solution that would help them help themselves and not just let them be allowed to squat anywhere they want without being forced out. From what I’ve read, the city does have programs in order to help the homeless but from my visits to the city in the past four years I have noticed little improvement, if at all. There have been documentaries that I have seen about makeshift cities built by the homeless and turned into functional communities that help the members grow for the better. I think there is something to take note in those documentaries that the city of Portland could use and establish some sort of program similar to it. There are many able-bodied people who are just down on their luck and are living homeless. Those people do not want to be given handouts for the rest of their lives. If the city placed them in communities that they could be a part of and work together to create something bigger than them then that would help them eventually come away from being homeless. By doing something like this, a homeless person would actually become a functional member of society and that would be a hundred times better than any handouts the city gives them. This solution could be established in other cities around the country and reduce the homeless population in the United States altogether.

On Tuesday, I thought it was creative how some groups incorporated pumpkins into their Halloween parties. It never occurred to me to throw a sustainable party but it is something to take note of in the future. During Maria Thiry’s AATCC sustainability talk was pretty interesting. She spoke about the three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental, and economic. Thiry also mentioned a few sustainability groups, such as Oeko-tex which is a sustainable textile production that started with children’s clothes.

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