Here we are embarking on week 11 of sustainability! A week of focusing on design activism! In Tom Brown’s article regarding the topic, I found the New Delhi drip irrigation system intriguing. If they can master this system, it could be implemented in all third world countries and solve severe issues in those places by providing successful agriculture and available nutrition. From what I understand, design activism is a way of designing in which one has specific and unique constraints and focuses on a margin of people, or the people that “fall out of the system”. It is different from active design in that active design is designing for physical activity and healthy lifestyle and design activism is more broad.
A piece of furniture that relates to natural and human capital is the example from the PowerPoint of the furniture made out of debris from hurricane Katrina. The Katrina Furniture Project creates value for the community by upcycling otherwise unusable materials, training people to make the furniture, and providing new furniture for newly built homes that have none.
In general, a problem that needs attention is world hunger. After reading Tom Brown’s article, I think he’s really on to something with the drip irrigation system. This irrigation system, as I said before, if implemented in all third world countries, installation and training could create jobs for people as well as the farming itself. The bigger the agriculture industry gets in these countries, the more farming jobs are needed thus creating even more jobs. If people have jobs, people have the ability to afford homes and food. And if the agriculture is booming, people have food that they can buy with the money from their jobs. All around this system could extremely change third world countries forever and our entire world.
An in-class activity we did on Tuesday in honor of Halloween was creating a concept for a sustainable Halloween party. My learning community came up with the idea to first of all, get the word out via technology only with no paper invites necessary. We want to host the party in our unfinished basement which is already creepy – so no need to decorate with disposable paper crafts. Keep the lighting dim of course to keep the creepy vibe. We want the party to be a sustainable Halloween costume party so everyone has to either make their costume out of recycled materials or upcycled garbage. Our party games will include bobbing for apples and a pumpkin carving contest. We want all food to come from the waste of the apples and pumpkins such as apple pie and baked pumpkin seeds. And all unused materials from the games and food can be composted.
On Thursday, a woman named Maria Thiry from AATCC joined our class from a discussion on the program’s sustainability practices and studies. We learned from her that the apparel industry is least sustainable industry on the planet and carpet is the most. Of course from class I knew the apparel industry has issues, but I didn’t realize we were the WORST. While AATCC cares a lot about this topic, it’s not the only area of the industry the organization focuses on. She left us with brochures and small catalogs of information on the program including membership, internship and job opportunities that come with the organization.