sustainability blog 9

Tim Brown’s reading was over how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. I think the majority of this article points to the thought about “designing for people, not for profit”. The article explained that designers focus their skills more on objects than on the system itself. Meaning, who will use the object and how, and under what circumstances. Also, how will it be manufactured, distributed, and maintained? Lastly, and what I consider most importantly, will it support cultural traditions or disrupt them? My favorite example they used was the one about the demonstration farm that was set up by the International Development Enterprises in India. Their mission was to provide low-cost solutions that meet the needs of small farmers in developing countries. In this example, they drive down costs which enables the farmers to reinvest the extra money to reach economic sustainability faster and with a lessened risk. It was in this example that I learned about the sustainable business model. This term reminded me of the business canvas model and so I was curious if there was an image for this model. After a quick google search I found one that charts out how to optimize “borrow, use, and return” within the three pillars of sustainability.

   Design Activism is a practice that can originate from any field and any spectrum of status, from professionals to unknowns. Design activism focuses on the people and building their financial wealth and social resilience by bringing in education and other skill-building assistance, so that the impact of the business is long lasting and self-sustaining. Design activism focuses on extreme users who are found in the margins and fall out of the system”.   Active Design protects endangered natural resources, makes consumption more sustainable, and uses nature as a model for business.

I think that a desk could relate to natural capital because it is likely that a natural capital made that desk. Many desks are made to look like wood but are actually a veneer or paint but there are some desks that are 100% real wood. I think that it is possible that when desks were first thought of it is because they first found a flattened rock or split tree that they used as a desk to create tools on or write on.

I think a problem that needs immediate attention would be over population. We simply have too many people on this planet and our numbers are only increasing. With an increased population, our resources are being depleted even quicker; with regard to the ignorance of our sustainability standards that need to be taken into priority order.  In order to tackle this problem I think I would create a marketing campaign to explain the benefits of not having kids or adopting. I think a large portion of the issue is that many won’t even consider these options as they sound either unrewarding or too troublesome. I would even go as far as to try to simplify the adoption process so that the process itself doesn’t appear to daunting to those individuals whom would like to adopt but are afraid.

Our Halloween party concept was to have a composting pile in the back yard and only serve biodegradable foods that can contribute to this compost pile. Our learning community also discussed having everyone make their costumes from things they have lying around the house that will match our theme. The theme of the party is nature; everyone must dress like something you can find in nature. We decided to only use candles to light the party and set the mood and we provided interaction based games such as “Heads Up Charades”. We addressed waste=food, biomimicry, industrial ecology, and human needs. We struggled to integrate biophilia and design activism into it.

Maria was the most entertaining speaker. You could easily notice how passionate she is about textiles. We learned the term “green washing”. Green washing is when a company only has one small piece in their process that is sustainable and yet they talk it up as though their business has the most pivotal goal is sustainability. I really loved learning about Nike and how they didn’t even know that their manufactures were incorrectly dispensing chemicals that they used to help create and color their products. Then the GreenPeace found this out and blasted it for everyone, including Nike executives, to see. What a scandalous story! I also liked learning about the bamboo fibers that contained rayon because of the manufacturing process they were using. She also talked about different rating systems that we can utilize to more accurately determine who is green washing versus who is truly pioneering the way with sustainability.  I definitely plan to join AATCC and love that the membership fee is only $45 per year.


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