Goodbye Beanbags, Hello Sustainable Future

As I begin to write this blog I am sad to inform my fellow readers that this will be my last. Writing each of these blogs has been a new experience for me and I have to say that for someone who has never been one to enjoy writing this is quite enjoyable. This class, wicked problems introduced me to new concepts as well as a new way of thinking so that I may in turn take this knowledge and apply it to my everyday routine. It was throughout this course that both my prior knowledge and experience gave me the opportunity to share with my twelve other classmates information about the field of interior design, and how it has caused harm to the environment as society has progressed. It was in class that I had the opportunity to contribute this knowledge, which consisted of explaining what I found important or interesting from each of the articles we were asked to read before class. By engaging with my classmates it helped me gain experience through listening to others and what their views and personal stance is and how they could see it as beneficial or detrimental to the environment.

Coming to the very first class of wicked problems, I will never forget walking into the classroom and seeing all the beanbags on the floor. At first I questioned why beanbags but then I thought why not beanbags, it was then that I realized that this class was going to be both interesting and informative so that when the time came I knew I would miss it. Learning about what defines a problem wicked and the possible solutions we as consumers can adopt has been very interesting, and to say the least has shifted my way of thinking in order to make a change for both myself and the environment. This course provided me with three main takeaways that I found very informative and hope to continue learning more about them. The first being able to learn more about the environment and how everyday you and I without even realizing cause damage to it. For example, did you know that by having low tire pressure you could actually be harming the environment and that although growing our population is seen as a positive it can also affect us negatively because we demand a lot of goods which leads to overproduction. Secondly, if you haven’t realized by now those who enter into the field of design, housing and merchandising our careers greatly cause harm to the environment. I as an interior designer, have become more informed as to how this career specifically causes harm, which can be seen through overproduction of products, dying of textiles, and demolition. The third concept I took away from this class was understanding how listening to both sides of an argument regarding a wicked problem helped enhance my understanding as to how authors view possible solutions and the outcomes they could produce. 

During the entirety of the course, a problem we talked about and one that my group and I particularly focused on was deforestation. Deforestation itself has been an evolving problem that if a change isn’t made we could lose all of our trees. As a result my group decided to put emphasis on this problem because trees are a vital product for our industries and with the high demand from consumers we are rapidly cutting trees down and not replacing them fast enough. It was interesting to learn how we largely depend on our trees and how much of our products come from trees. However because deforestation is a wicked problem it has been difficult to provide a set solution that will benefit both the environment and our industry. Being able to learn about deforestation and its effects on my career has been intriguing and has encouraged me to continue to learn more about and how as I continue in my career what are some of the steps I can personally take in order to cause less harm to the environment. After watching the movie the 11th Hour and hearing that it is up to my generation to create a change towards a sustainable environment, it left my feeling both a lot, I mean wouldn’t you feel pressure it someone told who that the fate of the earth is in the hands of your generation. But aside from feeling pressure it also gave me the motivation to try and push for a change. For the future of my career this can include utilizing different materials that don’t necessarily harm the environment as well as possibly implimiting building up rather than expanding and using up more land. Based on the articles we read in class I found it particularly interesting how a solution proposed was utilizing plastic waste to make kitchen cabinets, which in fact is actually being distributed by IKEA as of today. Of all the wicked problems we discussed in class, I personally thought it was fun to come up with possible solutions to these problems because it gets your brain thinking and in a way helps you to visualize the future.

Creating a change or movement that involves everyone on this planet can be particularly difficult because there are so many different opinions and various factors that have to be taken into consideration. However that does not mean that you personally can’t instill change, it can be as simple as influencing those in personal circle of friends or those whom you see regularly enough to talk to them about why you think this change is important. I know that in my personal group of friends we always motivate each other to try and reach our goals, so I know that if I were to explain to them why they should try and shift there routine to make it more sustainable they will listen and hopefully I will be able to influence them. After taking in all the information from the course I personally feel much more inclined to change my lifestyle in order to better the environment. So my final point is, what is something you can do differently?

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