Before this class, the word “sustainability” meant a way to save all parts of the environment. Though it still stands to be true, I now have a deeper understanding of what sustainability is and what it entails. Studying in the fashion industry, I only thought about environmental impact in the industry and how that relates back to being sustainable. I had tunnel vision, not thinking about the other impacts in other industries. After hearing the lectures and doing more research, I understand that sustainability can relate to anything.
I never knew of the term wicked problem until enrolling in this course. My best guess was that it could have been a problem too big, too difficult to solve hence why it’s described as “wicked”. A tame problem would be controlled though. You know what to do and there would be an algorithm to solve it. Solving a wicked problem would be harder. One could run into the problem of creating a new problem, creating a snowball effect. There are said to be six characteristics to making a problem so difficult to solve, including vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no end point, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and urgency. The one point that sticks out to me the most is the characteristic of urgency. It seems to be a topic that is kept being discussed. A wicked problem I want to expand on is the environmental impact of the fashion industry to the world.
After listening to Andrew Dent’s TED Talk about thrifting, it made me think of the word thrift differently. I always viewed in the term of thrift shopping, going to a thrift shop and purchasing second-handed clothing. Which it still is a true form of thrifting, however, just on a smaller scale. I love when Dent stated, at the end, how when we are making something, we should think about the potential impact and use in multiple lives to come. To “design in the ability for it to be taken apart,” as Dent stated to end his talk. In Paul Gilding’s TED Talk, it was quite similar, however, he focused on how there will be no more growth in our world if we continue to do what we do, without change. He was so strong in his speech, first starting out, stating, “[The Earth] is full of us, it’s all of our stuff, full of our waste, full of our demands.” And he’s right. The rate that our society and Earth is growing with the demands that comes along with it, we will collapse. This whole talk was really shocking to me the whole time. I never have thought so much about the Earth and the Earth in relation to our demands and our growth.
The story of the Eastern Islands was shocking to me, as I was not aware of any of that history. Talking it over with some friends, no one really understood it. Moreover, no one understood why the islanders did what they did and why didn’t they stop if they saw it was hurting them. Those islanders was being greedy. They wanted to grow and grow and grow, essentially being the best of the best. Which is what we, Americans, are currently dealing with relating back to sustainability. However, the Native Americans had a pure view of the world and how to live. They were smart. They were aware, aware of their surroundings and aware of what they were doing and how it would be contributing back to their home on Earth.
Carbon footprint is defined as the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide. I think it is a grand idea. I support this movement 100%. It helps our environment and that’s what we need. A model we review is a form of paradigm; it is the lens in which we see and view things. To change a paradigm, it’s require for something to be transformative. A sustainable design in day-to-day life would be to change your thoughts and actions to be intentional and optimistic.