Wicked Problems… *insert evil laugh here*

What do you all know about wicked problems? If your answer is nothing that is okay! Keep on reading if you want to read all about it!

There are many goals throughout this course that I hope to achieve. One goal of this course is to bring a compassionate curiosity to the multiple ways you may come to understand a wicked problem. Another goal of this course is to develop humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems. I’m going to start off by discussing my opinions on the first goal. The main idea of this goal is to understand wicked problems in our world today with a good and positive mindset. Having an optimistic outlook can help to allow anyone to keep trying and pushing forward. The world is suffering in many ways and keeping a positive mindset can make all the difference. Also, it’s important to stay curious. Curiosity can lead to great things! Looking for different problems, searching for contrasting issues, and like I stated before, keeping that mind open to anything that might come your way can be a guiding tool to helping our environment and saying goodbye to wicked problems. Peace out wicked problems! Right?! There are many wicked problems in our world today. What is a wicked problem you might be asking? A wicked problem is a social or cultural issue or concern that is difficult to explain and, as many might say, impossible to solve. Examples of wicked problems in today’s society include things like education, health care, hunger, income disparity, financial crises, obesity, poverty, terrorism, and sustainability. Sadly, these things are, yes, difficult to see a possible end to as if they are a long, dark, seemingly endless tunnel. There aren’t many ways to create a solution to a wicked problem like these, however, with a positive mindset and a “can do” attitude, there are ways to help these issues. It’s difficult to grasp the understanding of wicked problems and how complex and difficult they are. If I’m being completely honest, wicked problems can tend to be very overwhelming and feel like the sensation of being suffocated. If I were to let myself think about all the negative aspects of the issue, I would completely freak out and not know what to do with myself. That’s why it’s best to start small. Come up with a simple solution to the big problem. Even little changes can make a bigger difference than you think. For example, to be more sustainable in your everyday life you can use reusable alternatives, recycle and reuse, grow your own produce, donate unused items, and more. I like to use reusable water bottles rather than contributing to the massive amount of waste from plastic water bottles. These simple everyday tasks can add up in the long run and help your community become more environmentally friendly. In my community, I like to make sure and recycle whenever possible. I also would participate in “trash cleanup days” and simply pick up littered waste around school. Also, I have come to realize there are many issues with sustainability and the fashion industry. Fashion is a passing trend or fad. Since it is something superficial and transient, it can be rather wasteful in many cases. It represents the opposite of longevity, and would appear to be an impediment to sustainability. Also, there is this term known as aesthetic obsolescence. Aesthetic obsolescence is simply where a certain item goes out of style and isn’t desired by the owners anymore due to its loss of popularity. Reaching obsolescence doesn’t mean a rejected trend will never re enter the cycle, however. This idea is used in a free market economy because increased consumption inevitably leads to more waste. Basically what I am trying to say is that this industry contributes to a lot of waste and something needs to be done about it. Designing with humility is when you are thinking about the environment rather than yourself and your own personal benefits. If one accepts a humble attitude and realizes the environment is the most important aspect, then the overall sustainability will be much better. I believe as designers, including myself with interior design, we can choose to design with humility. When you design with humility, you acknowledge the fact that the products aren’t going to last forever and you become more mindful and consider materials in a more strategic manner. Like I previously said, there are so many wicked problems in the world and the world is suffering because of it. First of all, wicked problems do not have a set number of potential solutions. Secondly, every wicked problem is essentially unique. Third, every wicked problem can be considered a symptom of another problem. Fourth, there is always more than one explanation for a wicked problem because the explanations vary greatly depending on the individual’s perspective. Lastly, the planner/designer has no right to be wrong and must be fully responsible for their actions. We all have to take responsibility for our actions. That is simply the only way for us to grow as humans and help save our world. If I am being completely honest, we humans tend to be very selfish. It is a sad reality. BUT! If we come up with ways to grow as a community and work hard to be more conscious with the many things we do each and every day. I plan on making even more changes in my current life because I want to help mother nature become a better place to live. Life is a truly beautiful thing right everyone? Who wouldn’t want to impact the world and change it for the better? Let’s make the world a better place! I know wicked problems in the world are a tricky situation and complicated. However, like I have said, we can always try to make small, simple changes in our community. Finally, I cannot wait to continue to grow throughout this course and apply many of the things I have learned into my life. 

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