Class discussion has taken a philosophically fascinating and quite political turn. Recently, the class has brought up the ethics of the economy in the modern world. Whether the economy be a free market society or a government controlled entity, issues arise in the wake of either too much competition or too little. A free market operates in a similar if not identical fashion to capitalism, where the government provides little to no restrictions and a high amount of competition between businesses. This in turn creates consumerism culture which can be seen today in America’s culture. The opposite, a communist or completely government controlled economy, creates a lack of artistic inspiration and innovation. Both can cause severe social justice issues but the most important thing to note is consumerism is the root of many environmental issues. The constant demand for more and more depletes the local natural resources and large environmental disasters can result from these imbalances in the environment.
While consumerism is a large part of a designer’s life, the ability to sell a product that is sustainably conscious without going against what the client instructs is the hardest part. The ability to incorporate sustainable practice into legitimate buildings and other designs depending on the students major, is the most important takeaway from this class. These philosophies inspire and teach students to think and act in a way that not only reduces carbon footprint, but in ways that reshape how to view your profession.
Wicked Problems is a great class to have meaningful and thoughtful conversation when talking about the bigger issues of global warming, water pollution, and the larger problems in the near future. The discussions, while usually facilitated by Professor Armstrong, were able to happen on a more individual basis with the use of breakout rooms. This allowed me to ponder internal questions as well as ask other students their personal opinions on a more intimate level. This led me to some amazing conversations within my infographic group about the various political and environmental issues that were near and dear to my heart. Even when there was a disagreement it wasn’t accusatory, but rather a collection of varying opinions based on life experiences. This helped not only myself but many others in my group realize the true complexity of the subject and the large collections of theories on how to prevent natural disasters.
As I have said before, I am a skeptic at best for the effects of mindfulness but this week totally changed my view. The mindfulness exercise this week was a combination of mandala coloring and meditation. This exercise I really enjoyed because it allowed me to express my emotions through color as I process them. This was very effective for me at goal orienting myself towards success as well as reflecting on my responsibilities for the week. As I concentrated on my thoughts I couldn’t help but have my mind wander to simpler and less stressful times where school and Covid19 aren’t the most pressing subjects on my agenda. Overall however, this experience with mindfulness was enjoyable and I look forward to trying it again soon.