Sustainability By Design

As a major in Apparel Design I was to read the Yes side in last week’s reading. I can definitely say I was in agreement with my side of the reading. I believe one of the strongest points made is that environmental conversation is a “luxurious” problem. Those in poverty don’t have the time or means to be taking the environment as their primary concern with their survival at stake, often alongside a family. This is especially the case in developing countries where resources aren’t as abundant and poorer individuals are left to fend for themselves. Another strong point that stood out to me was that the poor often use nonrenewable resources in a unsustainable way because it’s their only source of income.  Examples include logging and slash / burn farming, both which happen in the Amazon Rainforest today. It’s fascinating in a sense because these types of dilemmas are what contribute to a problem being wicked, and any sort of solution would have to cover all these aspects.

It doesn’t help that countries like the US dump trash into developing countries, something I did not know until both the reading and Ted talk. It definitely forced me to think for a second and the impression left was strong enough to convince me to start using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic bottles. The Ted talk itself was very interesting and I don’t think many are aware that a big problem of unsustainability lies in the designs of products we use in our daily lives. I think giving more recognition to the idea of eco-design would be great as the Ted talk was the first time I personally heard something of the sort. More recognition would lead to increased action and such as the case with the tea kettle, a big difference can be made.

My junior year I actually studied fallingwater for AP art history so it was nice to see a reappearance of Frank Lloyd Wright. I have also been to the Thorncrown chapel! While I do enjoy biophilic design, especially sections such as non-visual connection with nature and biomorphic forms, I think the idea of buildings and homes like fallingwater are rather ironic. I think of fallingwater to be ironic because it’s supposed to symbolize nature even though it’s a man made construction placed right in the middle of nature. Despite this I think biophilic design and ideas will be important to remind us of the outside world as we move forward in a society where design is becoming more sleek and futuristic.

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