My Experience on the Retention of Sustainability

Throughout these past eight weeks in wicked problems of industrial practice, I have been able to gain many things that will be applicable throughout my life. The class has given me many forms of learning as well as forms of information about what is going around in the world around me. Before I had been in this class, I would describe myself as oblivious to the environmental footprint being left by society on society. I previously knew of global warming but never knew its extent and what all had a part in the destruction. Many things are occurring in our own communities daily that are overlooked by most. This class has taught me how to recognize these issues and how my part in life has an effect on the problems around me. The purpose of the course is to be able to learn about what a wicked problem is and how to identify them. The first thing to understand is that wicked problems do not have clear solutions. Wicked problems do not have one specific cause and therefore an answer can not easily be identified. This class has helped me to be able to recognize signs in society that point towards being a partial cause in a bigger picture wicked problem. I am now more confident in my understanding of environmental issues and my contribution to it. This course also gave me the ability to take these wicked problems and try to come up with ways to lessen the issue.

In class there were many tools that were used in helping me to learn and retain the information that was being given to me. One major tool that I was hesitant to at first was meditation. My first few times of meditation I was struggling to not focus on all the things I needed to be doing and stress about them. After this point was discussed in class, I learned that meditation is not about disregarding the things that are taking up your mind, but to use them to fuel your motivation. Meditation is about being aware of everything within yourself as well as what is going on around you. Another tool that was used was videos. We watched a movie in class titled The 11th Hour which was the closest related to my style of learning. Being given the information in the form of a video, I was able to retain so much information. The visuals and audios helped me to be able to see circumstances that I would not have seen before as well as used the narration to be able to understand the extent to which these issues must be taken in all seriousness. One method of learning that also helped was the experience of working in a group. My group members were able to bring insight to the table that I had not considered before and vice versa. Groups are a very good way to know how to communicate issues with others and how to work collaboratively to understand them better. The final helpful type of tool that was used in the class was in-class assignments which were run by discussion. This is another way that I was able to collect new ideas that had never crossed my mind previously.

Throughout the course I have learned a lot about the environment around me. I have been able to see the issues that have been going on for thousands of years that have resulted in disastrous effects. The issue of global warming has so many issues feeding into the overall problem which makes it a wicked problem, as well as the aspect of it requiring many different types of solutions in order to fix it. Industries such as large companies have such a strong impact on the economy and the rate at which they are selling can affect it even more. Large companies can emit many chemicals into the atmosphere that are very destructive. As habits and trends such as fast fashion occur more and more rapidly as people and designers evolve, more and more issues can come into the environment as more unsustainable behaviors are picked up to keep up with the demand. Sustainable behaviors among a wide range of people can create a small level of helpfulness on these issues. When switching behaviors from unsustainable to sustainable the littlest changes can be the most impactful for each individual’s specific parts. 

This class has been very impactful on my mentality of industrial practices. I mentally know how to differentiate between environmental issues and am able to identify unsustainable behaviors. I now have the knowledge to understand the stances in my community and can now see what I had been blind to before. Emotionally this has developed how I personally view the consequences of my actions. The thing that most activated my emotional levels in the subject is the topic of animals that are being put into dangerous intense conditions that are making animals become endangered. It is easy to see endangerment of animals in issues such as hunting because there is a direct cause with a direct solution. When it comes to industrialization caused problems, things become more complicated. In the new circumstances, there is not one straight answer to fix the problem. There are multiple factors when talking about the environment. Physically I have been affected by this class with my mentality. My brain has been strongly affected by meditation practices. This has helped me to fuel my motivation through focusing on the tasks at hand and realizing where I am in the now and going from there. I have also been affected physically through my actions. I am now more aware of my footprint on the community and am more conscious of the choices I make and how they can add to a problem or solution. 

I am very grateful for what this class has added to my knowledge. I am currently an interior design major and love that I can understand and use this information through the lens of one of my passions. I never before would think to find a class like this so interesting but it really helped me to put my previous thoughts into perspective. Interior design was a choice for its relation to math, more specifically geometry, art and design, and also its avid practice of interactions and collaborations. I before had not seen the point in a sustainability class in my math/art/design major. I now can recognize the connection and I found ways to branch out my interests. By making these connections I found myself diving further into the content than I ever would have expected. In the first class alone I found myself having points in every aspect of the discussion. By starting off the semester with this, I found myself retaining much more than I could have imagined. This course is extremely necessary in my understanding of my environmental footprint and the importance of switching to more sustainable behaviors. I plan to use the information I gained in this course in order to promote the word of sustainable behaviors as I can see that it is in everyone’s part and best interest to save the environment that is keeping us alive and not to take our limited resources for granted. 

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