Sustainability Epiphany

I first thought sustainability was just about picking the eco friendly options. After this class I learned that it’s about being able to sustain yourself, buildings, and hopefully cities. We should be able to make all that we need from food to energy. It saves money in the long run and reduces pollution and emissions. I think using Net Zero energy where it makes the amount it takes to run a building and nothing more. It’s important to start living a life to take just what we need and nothing more.

The Life Principle is to Evolve to Survive really resonated with me. The world is always changing and we need to take a moment to set back and look at what has worked and not worked in the past to move forward. I notice so many things that aren’t working as efficiently as they could. Roads and sidewalks are always crumbling in Oklahoma, there has to be something better to use than the pavement that’s currently being used. From Janine’s TED Talk about Biomimicry she suggests replacing cement with organisms that make shells and coral. I was on the east coast with family and I noticed that homes would use seashells similar to how we use gravel for our driveways. I love that idea because shells have to be cleaned off beaches from time to time and a use was found for them. I like that idea better than using man-made gravel. Noticing things from day to day is something I got from the Design Probe, it gives me a chance to self-disclose insights from my life and it helps me come up with innovative solutions to my everyday problems

I really enjoyed all the innovative ideas designers have come up with from clothing that can clean the air to bringing biomimicry and biophilia into a room. Using biomimicry to create products, processes, and policies. I used the idea of biomimicry in my senior design project. There is a large tree in the center of the facility with green walls to resemble nature while being indoors. I also brought in LEED credits that weren’t mentioned in class including materials, lighting, and plumbing. I would love to learn more about making healthy environments and not just sustainable. I think it’s critical that buildings are designed for people’s health and well-being. Poorly designed buildings can make people sick and reduce productivity.


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