Baby Steps

During this past week we have learned many of the important key ideas of sustainability that include design and poverty that contribute to many of the wicked problems in our world.

One of the many problems that we face in our society is the term fashion, which means that we are always going to want a new design or product. I think humans in general never want to settle on anything, because it is natural for us to always want more. In other terms the fashion that we are designing will never stay in style for too long and will always be wasteful to our society unless we make a change. This all ties into what we learned in class about aesthetically fashionable obsolescence and how designers can use fashion as a positive instead of a negative, because it just depends on how we create it. The reason behind why this is so problematic (wicked) is that companies are wanting to make a profit since it’s a free market economy. With a free market economy, it allows there to always be competitiveness in this industry, which produces a lot more jobs for designers. As Walker was saying, without this advantage there wouldn’t be an incentive to design as much, creating less jobs for designers.  Walker talks about an alternative solution to these problems, and that is to slowly develop sustainable practices with designing new products. I like this, because he is more realistic about the world when coming up with solutions.  

Its easy for industries to use fashion as an advantage when it comes to over consumers and under consumers. The industries that do not support sustainability know that an over consumer isn’t going to stop spending their money when it comes to new products. Individuals that do have the money will keep spending, and they stop valuing the products that they are using. When I think about this I think of the individuals that buy a new phone each year, because they are bored with the product. They do this because they can, and if they have the money why wouldn’t they? When it comes to under consumers they are the ones that are left with the unsustainable leftovers of the rich. When it comes to products they value them much more, because they know they aren’t going to be able to get a new one, because it isn’t aesthetically pleasing anymore. They are the ones that will buy a new phone once theirs breaks or slows down after a long time. I think the only way we can provide a sustainable future for fashion is to slowly practice sustainable behaviors in our society, as Walker mentioned. The industries, designers, and consumers all must agree and to take baby steps with practicing these behaviors.

When it comes to degradation for the yes side, we discussed the collateral damage of the wealthier areas and how that effects the poor. Environmental degradation is the loss of environmental properties from improper land use, pollutants, and natural activities. One of the many problems with this is the marginalization of the poor which causes negative effects that eventually leads to radical alteration. The wealthier areas do not usually have a problem with creating a cleaner environment, but the poor are often forced into unsustainable practices to survive. Industries do not usually do much to help except contribute to the problem; However, there have been some organizations such as the PES. This is an organization that wants to give incentives to individuals for environmental services. Its hard to come up with a solution, because with poorer countries their primary concerns are with economic growth instead of environmental protection.  I think the only solution to this is for more organizations and government regulation, and that individuals should work together once again to take baby steps to create a more sustainable future.

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