This course has taught me so much about wicked problems that are happening in our environment today. Before this class, I had some idea of what our world was going through but I did not know everything or the extent of these wicked problems. Another thing that I didn’t know was that our industry was the cause of a lot of these problems that are happening to our environment. And now after this course, I realize how being misinformed and uneducated can let alone be an effect of the wicked problems happening. For me, this class has helped me a little bit with stepping out of my comfort and talking to my peers. I am not the student to speak up or give my opinion. But once we got to week 8 I started to go more in depth on my opinions in my breakout rooms. Although I did not speak up in the group discussions a lot, I just felt more comfortable with speaking in front of my peers in smaller groups. One thing I heard from one of my classmates was how they state how they like to think with their emotions rather than on facts and knowledge of that subject. And I completely agree with this statement. I think more people need to learn to speak on how they feel rather than just almost being like a robot and researching everything. People who research everything tend to research just because they think that’s the way they are supposed to think. I also think being able to think more emotionally gives a more unique perspective on that topic and I definitely was thinking in a different way after this was stated. During this class, I do wish that I did speak up more on topics that I did have more knowledge about. 

Being in the design field, I didn’t realize how much of an impact on the environment. One thing that really stuck with me from the movie “The 11th Hour” was when they talked about how we approve things when we just buy them. When we give money for that product we are basically saying that we approve of this product and what happens to it once you are done with it. I came into this course not understanding what it had to do with my major and totally clueless about the problems the design industry causes. And at the beginning of this class I still didn’t believe I could do anything to help any of the wicked problems. But then in reality, me being in this field, I am in the center of this big problem. Learning about all of these fabrics and things that are not biodegradable is just one example of how interior design is a big problem of these negative effects on the environment. One example of things coming back in style is the upcycle of old clothing. This is a good thing, and I can get on board with this. But the problem with old things coming back is that although they upcycle things, there are sometimes still leftover fabrics. And like most extra fabrics, it is likely to end up in landfills. As for the interior design aspect, there is a lot of wood waste that usually is too damaged to be upcycled so they end up being burned and in landfills. Personally, when I am able to design homes I would love to use old furniture to save it from being burned. I also like the look of distressed furniture. This would be what I believe I could do for my part in helping our environment. Another big thing I have taken away from this class is not just focusing on these environmental issues but also your physical and mental state. In this class, I really enjoyed getting to learn mindfulness. I didn’t really understand or do the practice of mindfulness before this class, but now I can’t picture my day to day life without practicing mindfulness. Being able to take a specific time out of my day to focus on my breathing and just to relax has helped my anxiety so much. Not only have I been able to sleep better, but I feel so much more relaxed throughout the day. Practicing mindfulness has made me a better person and all around happier. 

After doing the infographic and learning more about the effects that buildings and the industry have on the environment has made me take a step back and think about what things I use or do in my day to day life that have negative effects on the environment. Major things that have been brought to my attention is how much plastic I use everyday. I understand that the use of plastic is totally under my control and could easily be fixed. Another major thing is the things I buy, like I stated earlier, what I buy is me saying I approve of that product. And after hearing that statement in the movie, it made me step back and really consider if I do really approve of the things I buy. I also realize that there are many other factors in my life that also have these negative effects on the environment as well. I do wish to further my research on these problems and learn more ways I could do in my part in helping the environment. 

My circle of influence would be the people that I am closest with and the people I have the most impact on. I would say my circle of influence is me seeing a situation with someone I am close with and trying to figure out how I could help. I would like to think that I have a positive impact on my circle, but in reality I am not totally sure what impact I have had on the people around me. In some ways I do believe that I have had a positive impact on the people around me by just being there for them when they need me.

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