Designing now with a better future in mind

I liked the example of the American farmer and a developing world country farmer. It really put into perspective what design activism is. The American farmer was acting in the moment buying a new tractor then paying the consequences throughout the next few years having to make payments consistently to make up for the big purchase up front. Whereas, the developing world country farmer worked hard up front to pay for equipment three times over having thoroughly thought through the process to reap the most benefits. What I got from this perspective is how design activism works to prepare for a better future by planning and doing things before acting to ensure that the benefits of your actions are greater than the consequences of immediate and premature actions taken. I like the idea of how design activism works and can relate to trying to plan ahead for a better future rather than acting impulsively and regretting the decision later. Im trying to do this currently as my fiancé and I try to figure out where we will live after getting married. We have considered every option possible that we can meet within our budget and what is also out of it. We have finally settled on buying a trailer house that we can afford and moving it onto his family owned land. Later in life we plan to build a house on the land and raise our family there, but we are both also open to the possibilities of plans changing just in case life takes us a different way than expected. We have designed a plan for our future with design activism. If we had designed our future using active design, we would have created ways to make things work now rather than having a plan to wait and be patient to see how our plan of being less expensive and needy now to hopefully reap the benefits later by having saved up and made better decisions early on. Along with buying a used trailer house, we are also just going to use furniture we already own, and take off some older furniture that’s been kept in the family to get refinished and be used in our new home instead of paying for new furniture. In a way this is considered a deposit into the nature bank because we are keeping materials that were otherwise going to be thrown out to be used in our home for many years to come so that its kept in the family. It is though also a debit since its not made with eco friendly fabrics that would be less harmful. For example, the dining room table and chairs we are going to be using were once used in my uncles home, and after my fiancé and I are finished with it, we will sell it to someone else or pass it down to one of our family members. Im not sure that there is much that we could do differently about this furniture item being used since it was already bought. I feel like its getting better use out of it if we incorporate it into our already interesting collection of used materials to be starting our new life with.

To tag along with my previous discussion of reusing furniture, it would be neat to create a safe and caring community where poverty stricken people could benefit from using the furniture and utensils that would get thrown out to create something special for those who cant afford it otherwise instead of it just being thrown out. They could also benefit by fixing up the furniture to later sell it after is has served its purpose creating a small income for the family to find and continue working on other furniture pieces. This also relates to my groups Halloween party concept that we discussed in class. My group talked about bringing in underprivileged people in to make the party food for the evening that they would enjoy at the party, and for decorations we talked about repurposing old Christmas trees to look spooky and placed inside to have a dark forest effect for a party theme. Lastly, Maria Thiry’s presentation connects to all of this by her research done on sustainability with companies that just put out the fast fashion that becomes a problem from a sustainable perspective that all these new products are being made sold worn then thrown out so quickly instead of simply just being repurposed into some other creation that could benefit the environment or serve a different clothing purpose instead of what it had originally been created for.


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