Mindfulness of Materials

Fashion is a term that is typically applied to something that is already popular, usually with connections to clothing but it isn’t limited. Fashion is something that can simply imply change, which change is neither good nor bad it simply depends on the situation. The connection of fashion and sustainability is rather interesting because there is so much to go into the considerations that sustainable fashion is feasible. Fashion making the move into a sustainable path would actually be huge and beneficial to all because fashion has the ability to drive a free-market that is very competitive so to get companies to shift the focus into adapting to new concepts that support a sustainable style would be ideal. I agree with the article that trying to get everyone to be sustainable would be ideal however, this is also very difficult as large as a change it would be. Thinking about how developing countries are looking to us on almost every topic, it would be definitely be ideal if we are able to potentially teach them early on how to live a sustainable life style. Essentially it would become as if we were to teach them about everything we have done wrong and what makes it so bad. 

There is definitely a lot of issues with what is being marketed and the strategies that companies use to make money today, for instance in the TED talk with Leyla she mentioned how refrigerator size has grown immensely over the last couple of decades. Refrigerator size should seem fairly minor when talking about potential sustainability fashion, but it is actually a major issue. Leyla continued on to say how since companies are marketing a larger space it encourages the owners to buy more groceries which in the end leads to more waste. Now, I’m not saying that just because you have a full fridge means you are going to waste all of it but it does mean you are more likely to over purchase on items you don’t necessarily need currently. Which brings me back to the article on fashion, companies are always encouraging you to purchase the newest products to make you feel fashionable which is essentially driving this society to fulfill their life with material goods. 

This week was very interesting because Tuesday we touched on consuming too much to fulfill our fashionable lifestyles but then on Thursday we were instructed to read a comparison on poverty and governmental policies. I’m not going to say that just because we encourage the large “fashionable” companies to stop pressuring us into purchasing more goods to save the poor because who would that actually be helping? This article wasn’t my favorite by any means because poverty is definitely a difficult and controversial topic however I did find it interesting because I do believe there are a lot of issues with our government. Poverty is essentially something the government has coined as not making above a certain wage, which is a number but when you really think about a number when it comes to money, does anyone actually have any money or is it all the governments? 

Biophilia is basically this connection between humans and nature, we always will have a connection to nature or at least we should. In architecture, it is important to fill a space with as much natural daylight as possible because it is better for a human in many ways especially psychologically as it may increase someones mood, of course there are downfalls to this such as energy efficiency. Which relates to why I find it important to discuss the life cycle of materials, not necessarily as I was earlier with smaller, fashionable products but materials that have to do with buildings. I find this topic very interesting, which of course the overall wicked problem is the life cycle of materials and why it isn’t ideal. As we have created so many products today that are doing more harm and we continue to create those products well what do we do, how do we change that? 

All products and materials have limited life cycles that should and could be changed but who is going to change that? As mentioned above, fashion is great because it does imply change but who is going to make that change? Is it the government or is it these large companies that are controlling and inspiring us to consume more? Why is it so important to bring architecture and the life cycle of building products into this topic? I believe it is important to because architecture is essentially a machine for living and if we aren’t in a good environment that is uncomfortable we might not be happy. If we aren’t happy with the spaces we are in then we will try to purchase and fulfill with other materials to make the space more exciting. It all comes back to a mindfulness of where we are and what is fulfilling our lives.

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