Sustainability to me is the awareness of what could be changed in our society for the better of our environment. It also is the want and need for a more green and environmentally minded world, and everything in between. Sustainability design includes changes in our small daily actions, all the way to designing in a huge corporate level mind. In includes changing the way you think to an empathic mind set. To be a sustainable designer requires one that has the drive and wants to change our world. It requires a determined and creative mind that knows how to cope with problem solving and can accept trial and error. Because sustainability has yes always been around, it has just never been truly explored. Now, in our society and world we are facing first hand horrible effects of not living a sustainable lifestyle. Now as creative, empathic sustainable designers we have to be open to failure and rejection. Because now we are not only avoiding problems and issues we are trying to fix and heal our precious earth as well. At the beginning of the course, I knew what sustainability was and I was passionate about it (still am of course). However, now, I am more inspired then before. I am more educated on what the steps are that I need to take to take on this job. I am also more aware of the horrible effects and have now seen what happened to our earth when we take much more than what we give back.
I have always been the one friend, or the one roommate out of all my friends that is the most aware and concerned about social environmental issues going on. So I would say, that I have always been somewhat an educator through sustainability. However now, after this course my mind and its horizons have grown and expanded throughout the semester. I now know what the outcome is like of what someone that steps outside the box and creates something empathically or sustainably wonderful is like. It inspires, and has a purpose.
Although… After learning some scary statistics, how horrible pollution is, global warming, waste, overcrowded landfills and lack of clean water; I am saddened to learn how much people just blatantly do not care. It is sad to learn and look around me and know that some individuals in this society literally do not care about the outcome of their unsustainable actions and lifestyles. After knowing this, and knowing that they will never change, I knew I could not be one of the bystanders to this issue. It is our time, as we are about to go off to start our careers, own our own homes, cars, and make our own decisions, we are fresh and it is a perfect time to ground a sustainable lifestyle. Even if no one understands why you do it, or you are the only one and it is making a minuscule difference to the environment. It does not matter, who cares, at least you are the one not acting as a bystander and trying to change the world for the better. My journey has also been exciting because I even came up with my own designs and ideas that could maybe one day… be a reality. However like Dr. Jayadas told me as a sophomore in problem solving… never share your ideas with others.
Knowing what I know now, and have learned in this course, I want to know more about these sustainable designers in our industry and how they did it. I want to know what their trials and errors were. I want to know how I (and others) can do it too. I also loved learning about biomimicry and the advances that are already happening because of biomimicry. From natural design, I learned that our natural environment does not produce ANY waste, and we are the culprit for this… We need to start living and designing in a way where we do not produce any waste either.
I loved learning about empathic design, and what that even entails. I loved meeting Mr. Winston and creating something to help his lifestyle and boost his quality of life. From these lectures, I learned different perspectives, and to me, that’s what learning is all about.
Everything I expected out of this course was met, and more. I did not expect to go outside of the classroom and have class to complete activities, which I enjoyed. I also did not expect to think about lectures and course materials as much as I did and still do. It just solidifies that my horizons truly were broadened from this course.