Each day spent in Wicked Problem Solving, I am introduced to new outlooks and ways of viewing this wicked problem our society has worked itself into. This past week we looked at the TED talk with Leyla, and her experience with the industries and how things are produced. The amount of stuff we consume as a nation is sickening. It is easy to think about how we might not as individuals be included in the percentages she gave us, but does it really matter wether we are or not unless we are actively making an effort to make a change? Of course a change has to start with ourselves, but there also needs to be a motivation to make a change; people should share the knowledge. Sustainability is not something we talk about as much as we should. As an interior design major, we can have a significant affect on the environment based on how we design and the manufacturers we choose to buy from. I have enjoyed learning about the problems, but wish to know more about what we can do as designers to make a difference. Why have we not learned more about ways to recycle as it applies to interior design? It is unfortunate we are not able to have a class designated to ways to design based on more sustainable needs.
As far as the conversation on poverty goes, I have mixed emotions. It is easy to point the blame to the poverty stricken areas because of their lack of money or knowledge to make improvements, but they are not really the ones spending money on new things. Yes, they do not always care as much about the environment, but neither do the people who are spending money. If the blame is to fall anywhere, it should be on our society’s ignorance towards the issue as a whole. In support of the other side of the argument, we do need an economy to support the nation, and feed people. All of the big manufacturers we complain about buying from, are also the ones suppling jobs. If there are no jobs then there is no money, and no money means more poverty. I am not saying there is no way possible to have a good flowing economy, and lead sustainable lives; there just has not been a good enough compromise.
One solution that seems like the most obvious is to make everything recyclable. Of course this is something that would take decades to accomplish. Above anything else is societies knowledge on our situation and what all it is going to take to improve the environment. The more I know and understand about what is going on, the more I want to change what I can do, but that is not going to be enough; everyone needs to make a change.