How much can we truly understand?

In attribute to the thought processes and state of mind that go into thinking about a “Wicked Problem”, understanding that there is no right, or wrong answer is critical in fully comprehending the situation at hand. As we have continued to practice our daily meditation, along with implementing a mindful approach, I feel that I have gained an entirely new perspective on not only the world but more specifically how this pertains to my field. In addition, I believe that purposely paying attention to the present and understanding how these problems came to be without judgment can prevent further irreversible damage in the future. Incorporating this process of mindfulness has helped me further understand the depth and different variables of the vigorous issues that we as students do not stop to think about. For instance, when beginning my path into Interior Design, I had the mindset of designing spaces for functionality and creating a picture-perfect home. Now that I have started to look farther into the process and started to understand that there are countless different aspects of interior design that are critical to the design field but are often looked over. In many instances, designers hear about these issues and choose to ignore them and design the set space without accounting for the long-term effect even one building or one office may have. However, practicing mindfulness has allowed me to expand my aspirations when it comes to design. As opposed to overlooking these issues that are harming the environment, I want to design around these problems, incorporating new practices that the design field is not accustomed to. Although being one person and attempting to put these solutions in place may not affect the well-being of the entire planet in one day, it is a small step to the bigger picture. Being mindful has allowed me to understand the perplexity that is our reality. Having this better understanding has made me realize that even one small change in any field, can set a new precedent that will have major long-term effects. This entirely new mindset has created this newfound curiosity in my train of thought that causes me to ponder the countless different ways in which change could happen, or how these things ever came to be such an issue. Although I do not seek out to judge the ways of the world nor do I wish to insult the previous professionals in this industry, I do feel sorrow. This sorrow is greatly for the state of the world we live in and for the greedy ways that we as a species have come to accept. Moving forward with this field I hope to further my understanding of these issues and try to create solutions that could be implemented further into my career. The awareness that has derived from practicing mindfulness and acquiring a new curiosity has as well caused me to think in a humbler manner as far as design goes. Coming to understand where things have created waste, or created unnecessary damage to the environment, has allowed me to truly visualize how very much we take along with the very little we give back. In other words, I can now see the greedy and selfish ways that companies have taken advantage of not only the environment but also the local communities in which they reside. Over the course of the semester, I have acquired a plethora of new knowledge, new methods, new everything in many aspects. Finding a way to understand all this new knowledge has not been an easy task but understanding how all these different teachings are related to one another or how they directly affect one another has seemed impossible. Practicing mindfulness in addition to daily meditation helps me to organize my thoughts and read between the lines to find the connection and relevance. By doing this, I have been able to grasp a clearer version of the bigger picture. Although I am far from understanding many things or understanding the entire process, I have a more optimistic attitude for my future. Whenever we first began in this course, we started off watching a film that documented the state that the world was in, this gave me a very pessimistic perspective towards what the future had to offer in my field. As we began to dive deeper into the content of the course and began talking about the issues at hand, it made me realize that there was still time to make a change in our ways. To change our ways, we, as future professionals in our industries, must understand the problems we are facing and the different problems that we may face. One thing that being mindful has shown me is that the perspectives that we hold about the current issues the world faces are not necessarily correct nor incorrect. Instead of showing me, I needed to change my perspective, it has taught me that I just need to gain more perspective on whatever the issue at hand is. Prior to the practice of being mindful I believed that f there was an issue that we were facing then the most obvious solution must be the right solution. As we started to practice mindfulness and create a deeper perspective of the issue, I started to understand that there are several different entities that hold different stakes in the problem itself. To understand this, one must also understand the concept that no one solution will be able to make all associated stakeholders content with the methods. In many ways, this can be seen as a setup for failure. However, by incorporating mindfulness practices into my ways of thinking I refuse to see it that way. Instead, this concept has only challenged my curiosity to develop a new way of thinking about the different design elements that I incorporate. In addition, this has also created an entirely new complex of how each incorporated element in any sort of design will affect a different element. As well as how the combination of chosen design elements works together to sustain a more functional lifestyle as well as being more environmentally friendly. In this course, being mindful about my learning has shown me the various aspects that go into the concept of sustainability. The countless variables that can dictate an issue as a wicked problem and how complex they can be. Understanding these concepts and being mindful of them has created a curiosity about them and what is being done to fix them or what can be done in the future. This class has changed how I think about the complete process of designing a space. It is not so much as designing the most aesthetically pleasing space but instead, thinking about its sourced materials and thinking about what the space would be used for and how this would affect its occupants’ long term or short term and how this may be useful or harmful to its environment or if it embodies its surrounding community. To conclude, over the short time I have been practicing mindfulness I have already completely changed my thought process while deepening my understanding and passion for these issues. Understanding the different aspects of design is a critical aspect to create not only a more sustainable future but a future at all.

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