The Topic in Discussion

This course has been an interesting journey, we have been given many articles to read and analyze, each exploring our different major disciplines. All of which can be tied to the topic of wicked problems. One of the major topics that we have focused on is the addition of waste that some of our professions have. And through the course, we have been given a way to address it and be mindful to the topic at hand. We have explored wicked problems through an intellectual process, and now as we enter the final project, we are entering the emotional direction. We have found a topic that closely relates to something that matters to us, and are trying to find a way to be compassionate, and also finding a creative way to make others be empathic with us in our views through infographics. And as for a somatic approach, as we are practicing meditation and mindfulness more, to repeat the steps that we were taught in class, we are able to really contemplate our actions and our learnings from the course and how to solve some of these issues.

As we progress into the last couple weeks of the course, I’m excited to do more research on wicked problems that are directly integrated in my career path. The topic that I have chosen is energy consumption within buildings. My research is still in the beginning process, but I am interested to see the relationship between something green and reducing energy consumption. In my initial round of research, I had found an article that talked about how green roofs can aid in reducing solar radiation in buildings, allowing for a smaller cooling load. Through green roofs, it is able to act as insulation for the building. For further research, I may look into case studies of existing buildings that have functioning green roofs and walls in different climates to see how effective they really are in practice, not just in theory. Because if they are not truly effective, I may have to shift my focus on how natural ventilation paths can help in reducing the cooling load as well. More research will be put into the assignment to create an informative infographic for the final.

So I believe in other ways, we can be compassionate to our surroundings and the environment. From the learnings from class, we can take in our surroundings, by placing ourselves in the current time that we are in, and experiencing the now in a more present way. I think the goal of this ‘assignment’ of practicing meditating and mindfulness in the relation to our learnings is to just be more aware of our place on this earth. How what we do has a reaction and it’s okay to take a little bit of time to focus on ourselves in a world that is so chaotic and busy.

For me, my role in mindfulness is just to take in my surroundings, I find myself not remembering most of my days, solely because I am not paying enough attention to what I am doing. I want my days to slow down and to make everyday have a little more meaning and not just aimlessly go day-by-day until a month has gone by and I feel like I have accomplished nothin

As mentioned, another goal for this course is to develop a humble and compassionate way to understanding wicked problems, I think the class will find multiple ways to go about this, which would be interesting to discuss. However, for me, I think if I am able to relate a wicked problem back into my architecture designs in trying to help fix or not add to a problem, I would have succeeded. A project that we had done as a group this year in studio is that we had to produce a board game that addressed an urban issue that we would like to further explore. My group focused on trying to provide a game to players that would educate them about poverty. Poverty is something that is not talked about often, but it is such a big and growing issue everywhere, the game was to show how small “inconvenience” can have a domino affect that can end up where you lose your job or evict you from your apartment. As we took a mindful approach and discussed the topic through several sessions, we understood that the game would not try to promote the idea of solving poverty, because you cannot solve poverty. But you can educate others about the issue, and open up a way for people to address it and show that this is a real issue.

I’m interested to see what the remainder of this class will be like, and to learn different sustainability issues, wicked problems if you must, from different majors and what they find is a big issue that we face today. I’m interested to see what the different case articles will we discuss in class will be, because from what I have understood is that the course is set up to touch bases on each separate major, so we can see what issues in fashion, in architecture, in housing, etc., are. As a class, when we have been able to get a conversation going, it’s fun to see what people’s main takeaway from a topic is, because we see what is important in their perspective and what is the bigger issue in their perspective. So, I do enjoy the discussion aspect of the course and the small in-class activities that we get to do by pinpoint important notes about a video we are watching or the topic we are discussing. I think the course is a good introductory course for everyone, and it’s an important topic, it’s important topic to talk about the cause of climate change and global warming and to discuss that it is not just due to one evil, but multiple problems that have resulted in a world that can no longer heal.

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