I have learned so much about what is happening in our environment from taking this course. It is crazy to think that there are so many issues going on in the world that are labeled “wicked problems”. Before this class, I had little to no idea about what was going on. I knew the basics of everything, global warming is an issue, pollution is not good, and landfills are harmful. I did not know the extent of everything until taking this course. In this class I found out that the root to a lot of these problems have to do with the fashion and design industry. Don’t get me wrong I know that regular people cause a lot of the problems too, but I already knew that before going into this class. I really enjoyed going into this class because we go to hear everyone else’s opinions on different topics and for me that helps me determine my view if I am on the fence about something. We all think of things differently so a lot of the time someone would bring up something that I had never thought about before. At first going into breakout rooms freaked me out. I’m not super outgoing so being put into a room with people you have never met before can be intimidating. Especially since I had no idea what to talk about at first. After a few minutes we normally warmed up and would express our thoughts on a certain reading. After the breakout rooms when we went back into the class I wouldn’t ever speak up when asked a question because for some reason I was scared of being judged or being wrong. And towards the end of the course when we were called on by popsicle sticks, I got so stressed out hoping my name was not called. Although I got anxiety with the popsicle sticks, after my name was called and I answered it felt good because there normally isn’t a wrong answer. Your opinion is your opinion so you can’t ever be wrong and you should not be judged for it. I think this class helped a lot with voicing my thoughts even if I would not have wanted to.
This course didn’t just teach me to open up about my opinions, it also taught me about how to make a difference. Since I’m in the design field, I need to be aware of what I’m doing to the environment, whether it affects us now or in the future. Just about everything used to make furniture or carpet is harmful to the environment. The fabrics and materials are not biodegradable so when they get thrown out when trends change, they sit in landfills and harm the planet. We all have seen that styles normally come back in style after a while, we see that a lot now in the fashion industry. Instead of throwing out furniture or clothing that is out of style, we should give it to someone who will use it or sell it so that someone in the future will buy it. A big issue with creating new things is all of the leftover fabrics and materials that get thrown away. Instead of throwing away those materials we should use them to create other articles of clothing or even furniture. Or if a piece of furniture or clothing is damaged and can’t be used, we should use the leftover materials to create something else. In the future when I start to design homes and help decorate the interior, I will try to use what the client already has before buying anything new. Worst case scenario we need to buy antique furniture that’s already been used instead of buying brand new.
Our last project in this course was to create an infographic with our group about a specific wicked problem. I really enjoyed this project because we got to research different parts of the chosen problem and come together to discuss what we found. This way we were able to dig deeper into one specific area of our problem instead of doing surface level research about several areas. While I was researching I was learning so much about what goes on in rural areas of the world and different ways we can help. In our infographic we had an area based off of disadvantages to living in rural areas and another for benefits to living in urban areas. Our last part of the infographic was for solutions being made and projects going on that help those who live in rural areas. One thing I wish we could have done was to have been able to see other groups infographics. I think it would have been very educational and fun to see.
This course has helped me better understand the ways in which I can help the future of this Earth. There are so many ways that you can help work towards creating a sustainable lifestyle. For example, instead of buying new clothes you can go thrift shopping, which is really trendy right now. You can also do similar things with furniture. There are warehouses that keep leftover furniture that was not bought after a while. You could also go to places that sell older used furniture so you don’t have to buy brand new items. Starting to recycle is also a big change that many people should make. Start out small with recycling water bottles and then work you way up to bigger things like not buying water bottles at all. I have gotten into the habit of always turning off lights when I’m not in the room, to be honest even when I’m in the room the lights are usually off. If everyone starts out by doing little things like this then working their way up to bigger things to help our environment then we can really make a change. If we start now then we can save our future generations a lot of work and possibly their own lives.