Final Blog

I would define sustainability as reusing anything instead of throwing it away. We take whatever the object may be (clothes, wood, plastic, etc.…) and we try to find a way to reuse it so it doesn’t end up in a land field somewhere polluting our earth. I always thought that sustainability was about saving our planet and going green. I just thought that it was recycling but its so much more than that. Recycling is only a part of sustainability. I learned that it’s about reducing, reusing, and recycling. I would say that sustainability is different from how I conceptualized it. I would define sustainable design as making a product or item that we can reuse over and over again. We should have an emotional attachment to it. It should be made for use (personalization) and we should never want to throw it out. We should instead find ways to reuse the product or item. I really didn’t know a lot about sustainable design. I honestly didn’t even know that this concept existed until I took this class. It was an interesting topic to learn about and I am glad I learned about sustainable design. Some of the epiphanies and learning outcomes I had were when we learned about reduce, reuse, and recycle. I honestly never even thought about how to reduce or reuse. I knew to recycle but that was it. When we learned about reusing it opened my eyes to a whole other way of being sustainable. I remember setting in class and Dr. Jayadas talking about how we could take an old shirt that has holes in it and use the fabric to make another clothing item. He even suggested that we could use that old shirt for a rag to clean with instead of throwing it away. We then talked about finding ways to mend our old clothes that have holes in them or are worn out so that we could reuse them. Reusing goes along with the concept of reduce. When we find ways to reuse clothes or materials than we are reducing those textiles or materials from going to the land field. A great example that we talked about in class would be the man who built houses from what we would call trash. He used old toilets, beer cans, old doors, and any other materials (that had been thrown away) to build houses out of. He is reducing materials from going to land fields and polluting our earth. He is also reusing our materials. Recycling I knew about before this class but I still enjoyed learning about it. We can recycle our plastic bottles and recuse them for clothes or shoes. I really loved learning about how adidas shoes use recycled plastic bottles from the ocean to make their tennis shoes. The material is made out of our recycled plastic bottles. Another concept that I really enjoyed learning about was empathic design and how it relates to sustainability. I really enjoyed learning about empathic design. To be able to put your self in other people’s shoes and understand their needs is to truly have empathy. Caring for others is important. Understanding why people feel the way they do about a certain object and why it mean so much to them is important to know. It helps us better design for them. We can help make the item customized to that specific persons wants and needs. We can make the product something that the customer never wants to throw away because it has their story behind it. It means something to them because of this. This helps us make the item sustainable and also something that is empathic design to our customer. To be able to help others and the world would be pretty amazing. To be able to understand our customers on an emotional level is the most amazing thing that we as designers could ever do. The most important thing that I will take away from reduce, reuse, and recycle is that it is important to think about all the uses that materials and clothes can be used for. We should be constantly looking for solutions to these problems. Instead of throwing the items out we should look at the item and figure out creative and fun ways to reuse the item. We should always be looking for way to reduce our materials from going to landfills. We should recycle so that can reuse that material in something else again and again. The most important thing that I will take away from empathic design is truly understand my customer and putting myself in their shoes. Knowing how they are feeling and what they want or need in a product, will help me better understand how to design for them. Listening to their wants and needs and trying to understand them will help me be a better designer. It will help me make the item something they want to keep and reuse. Making the item solely about them will make it valuable to them and something they will never let go of. I honestly would love to learn even more about empathic design. I really do enjoy this concept so much. It makes me happy helping others and seeing how that makes other people feel when I help them. I really enjoy caring for others. I like to understand people and listen to what their needs are and how I can help them with those needs. I would like to learn more in-depth details about empathic designs. I would love to study more about companies, designers and other people that use this concept. I would love to learn more about the cradle-2-cradle concept. I would love to see some more examples of this concept and learn how to better use this concept in my daily life. I know we talked about how to do that but I would love more in-depth details about it. I really can’t think of anything that I wanted to learn about in this course but didn’t learn about. I feel like the class was either what I thought it would be about or I learned something that I didn’t even know about. Over this class was very interesting and I am glad I took it.

By: Hayley Taylor

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