Exploring my Understanding of Sustainability and Wicked Problems

Coming into this class I did not know what to expect. The term “wicked problems of industrial practice” really had me thinking what was I going to learn from this class? I am just starting my first year as a Interior Design and this would be one of my first DHM classes. I didn’t know if this was going to discuss labor unions and different mal practices in business. This week in class I realized I was going to be learning about sustainability problems and how it affects our lives and businesses. 

According to the Oxford dictionary sustainability is defined as “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance”. The issues of sustainability may seem simple but are often larger than a human being may be willing to recognize or understand. Wicked problems dealing with sustainability are not problems one individual can fix. These problems must b e fixed by a society as a whole. As society we must learn to respect and care for the planet. The planet provides for us and we must give back to it in order to survive. These problems are issues that cannot be fixed over night. These problems take time to fix. This means that these issues need to be addressed so that we can fix them before the issues become irreversible. 

Being a kid from Texas surrounded by family and friends working in the oil field the conversation of sustainability was never one I had to think of much. It was one that always seemed to make sense to use the resources the world gave us to provide for our populations’ needs. I always knew there were negative opinions on this and negative opinions on the oil field. I lived in Pittsburgh in middle school and that was the first time I realized not everyone agreed with the oil field. It came as a surprise to me, because Texas is very populated by oil field companies. It being very populated by these companies allowed for a positive view on what they did. I feel as if this helped me contribute a different point of view and perspective on sustainability in our class discussions. These class discussions seem important to understanding how these sustainability issues affect one another differently. I am affected by people negatively treating me because of the field my father works in. Some individuals however are affected by not even having clean water in the towns they live in. 

After reading the article The Collapse of Easter Island,I realized that these issues may go unnoticed due to other focuses. In their society it was their religious sculptures but in our society it could be our focus on the economy. I also enjoyed the film The 11thHour. After watching the film I had a better understanding of the impact simple needs our society has that are making big impacts on the health of our planet. I am so excited to learn more about these problems and how they impact our daily lives on this planet. I am also excited about exploring solutions or ideas classmates may have to resolving some of these sustanibility issues. 

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