Week 8


Wow. I can’t believe we’re 8 weeks in. I checked earlier as I was reading the blog requirements, and wow. Still can’t believe it. Anyway…

This weeks class went very well! I’m enjoying moving away from biomimicry and starting on a new topic. I think I was getting kind of tired of learning about biomimicry. In class Tuesday, we watched a TED talk by Vijay Kumar about his flying robots. I honestly think this talk is on my ‘dislike’ list. It is awesome how technology is growing so powerful, but it is also very annoying. Kumar explained how his flying robot is able to fly around the inside of buildings and the outsides of farms to inspect the perimeter. How lazy can one get? I understand there are some things that could be made easier for us, but I did not like this idea at all. I’m sure the flying robots are very expensive and they just seem like a powerful technological tool that isn’t really needed. However, if you have the extra money, and feel comfortable using one of these gadgets, I would say go for it! There was also an activity we did with our learning community. We had to create a business canvas model explaining the different aspects of our sustainable business. I did not find this activity too difficult, but there was more thinking involved. This business model could definitely be used in the future whenever starting up a practice, or whenever you would like to reinforce your companies background and practices.

Paul Bennett was another TED talk we watched in class. I enjoyed and understood the point he wanted to make. Patients that lay in hospital beds all day probably feel even worse about being there because of what they are looking at while in the bed. Who wants to have no choice but to stare at a blank wall? A blank wall!!!! I would probably go insane. Therefore, I loved the idea of going above and beyond to create an atmosphere that can help the patients feel a little more at home. I think I’m going to enjoy learning more about empathic design because it includes different personalities and likings. If I had to suggest or help create a different environment relating to empathic design it would be for nursing homes. It bothers me that there are nursing homes that are dull and boring. I know whenever I get old thats the last place I will want to be. I would want to improve a nursing home by bringing life into the aesthetics. This could be done by simply changing up color schemes, asking patients what they would like to see more of, or just by sprucing parts of the building up.

Well I’m done here, see ya!

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Week 8

I learned to look at a business proposal from multiple points of view, i.e., consumer, market, channels, resources and costs. I knew from my Entrepreneurship course, and a marketing course I once took that I would need to break down my product or service proposal by those categories. However, seeing them in the easy to follow model is much more intuitive. This model really allows banks, donors, and other prospective investors to grasp the full scale of what you are wanting to implement and for them to see when they might start to see a return. Having a Business Canvas Model like this is not only practical it also allows for you to appear as fully researched and prepared as you are. I most definitely see myself using this in the future.

I see myself using this as I pitch an idea to my future employers on how and why we should add a new service to what we offer our clients. I see myself even using this model to suggest how and why we should implement new employee incentives.

I enjoyed the TED talk about how design is in the details. The example he used about an answering being right in your face was humbling. The story was about this hospital that was looking to understand what their patients’ lives were like while they were in the hospital. It was truly remarkable; they put cameras on the patients faces to capture what they see all day, every single day they are there. The results were that most patients just saw the ceiling tile all day long. This heartbreaking reality made the hospital owners want to jump into action and make a change.  The speaker of the TED talk went on to say a few of the solutions that were founded: bicycle mirrors on gurneys so that patients could see their doctor or nurse who is pushing them and have some face-to-face meaningful conversations, designed ceiling tiles, and creating white board walls for inspirational notes to be written by loved ones.  When you watch something like this you realize how important being an Interior Designer is. Knowing that I can impact someone’s life this subtly and empathically penetratingly, brings value and purpose to my life.

If I could improve a shopping experience for someone, I would want to improve the shopping experience for those with visual impairment. I would like to do this because there are currently little to no sensory details to make shopping an experience for those with visual impairment. To go about this, I would first focus on the smell of the store to entice those customers in. Then, once in the store I would have them experience calming sounds such as acoustical music (set to a lower volume as to not overwhelm them) to set the vibe. Afterwards, they could touch the product which each have a textural packaging based on the raw materials of what was used to make the product that is Inside that packaging. So for instance, if a toy doll was made of rubber and horse hair, I would make a sack woven of horse hair with a rubber tie. This is transparent with ALL consumers, not just the visually impaired, on what goes into their products. This also provides a way for the impaired to feel and connect with their products.


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Blog 6

Week 8

In Week 8, we wrapped up talking about Biomimicry and discussed empathetic design. We talked about what to compost and how to be more sustainable in Stillwater. On Thursday, we discussed the differences between empathetic and sympathetic and talked about how we could use empathetic design to our benefit in our field of work.

Business Canvas Model

From the Business Canvas Model discussion and exercise, I learned that each individual can propose a completely different business idea with the same proposition. It was so interesting to listen to each learning communities idea and see how different it was from the next learning community’s. Even the ones with the same nonprofit had completely different ideas and I thought that was really cool. I could use this in the future by actually following through with our idea and turning it into a business. We had an innovative and creative idea, which I think would actually help raise awareness and help the non-profit we chose, which was the World Wildlife Fund. Also, since we were given a time limit to create this proposal, it gave me practice for working under pressure and creating a business model in a short period of time. This is also something that could help me in the future.

Empathetic Design

Paul Bennett’s TED Talk, Design is in the Details, talked about bringing the “big” and “small” together. The first example he used was a patient in a hospital bed. His team stepped into the life of a patient to create design ideas. Looking at the situation from the point of view of the person out is a great way to use design and this example proved that. They realized it wasn’t about the huge things; they needed to change the small things to make the experience more enjoyable. They attached bicycle mirrors to the hospital bed so they could see the nurse that was wheeling their hospital bed. This was a small gesture that created human interaction, and improved the environment. The nurses also decorated the ceiling and added white boards to the rooms to write encouraging messages. These small things completely changed the atmosphere of the hospital room. Later on in the video, Paul discussed the book they wrote which touched on all kinds of thoughtless things that people do that have large intention and possibilities. This definitely brought the idea of changing small things to my attention. Finally, Paul discussed how he had to completely transfer to the user’s world to design a water pump and how it excelled when they did that. Overall, this TED talk discussed how small is the new big and how to step in the user’s shoes to design a product. It makes things more meaningful and successful.

If I were given the opportunity to design for someone and help improve his or her shopping experience, I would design for older individuals like my grandma. As she gets older, she has a more difficult time shopping, which is sad because it used to be something she really enjoys. She struggles to bend down and pick up things and shop for long periods of time. I would design a store for the older individual that focuses on the physical aspects of shopping. The stores shelving would be between knee and eye level so the act of bending down or reaching up could be reduced. I would also place seating throughout the store, so the customers could take a break, sit down, and enjoy their shopping day. I believe this would also get the customer to stay longer and shop more if they had the opportunity to rest. Finally, I would make sure the environment was relaxing and pleasing to the elderly so they could enjoy their time and become loyal to the store.

Overall, this week helped me get a better grasp on designing and how to do it for other people.

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Their Perspective, Not Ours

I loved watching the video of the baby in class. Putting myself into the perspective of that baby and using senses to imagine the texture and softness of the cake and the sweet smells coming from the icing as she put her face into it. I love trying to put myself into other people’s perspectives to imagine what it’s like to live their lives. For the people that I have helped design floorplans for their homes, I would enjoy hearing about their preferences in their homes and what their dreams were for the function of a space. I never imagined how I would feel, but more of how the family functioned and making use of their complaints or annoyances that they had living in their current home to design a space for their everyday needs to make living easier. I envision myself walking through the house and having the same emotions about it so that I can get close to what they feel and take my own personal emotions out of the equation.

The business canvas model was a new exercise for me. It was interesting to experience how easy it was to fill in the model for a made up business and to see how quickly it can be done. Our group struggled at first with deciding what we wanted our business to be, but once it was decided everything fell into place pretty easily. I’m glad that this model was brought into class for future use. If I one day decide to start my own company for interior design, it will come in handy to organize my goals and target market along with all of the other important details I would need to think about including cost and revenue. It brings more into perspective and sums up why as design students we had to take the accounting and economic classes.

One person who really encompassed and mastered this process of having everything put into perspective is Jasmine Burton. She spoke about empathic design with a task of simply going to the bathroom. She discussed how it can be an uncomfortable experience seeing everyone you know and all of their business when using the restroom in some of the more poverty stricken countries. She talked about identity and relating to people from different countries and seeing thing from their perspective helps to design something more useful and important to them. Which tied right into the use of empathic design for others. On designing with people website, as designer we can actually relate by reading about different situations of people that we could be designing homes or clothing for. Its important to always have the end user in mind throughout the entire design process, and step out of our own personal minds. From this website, I chose to design for Chris, a registered blind 63 year old who lives in London. To design a better shopping experience, I would first learn about tactile shopping and find out what smells and textures are attractive to Chris. I would then design a store that is sectioned off by different curtains that separated the aisles for different shirts. That way, if Chris were to walk into a store looking for a new favorite flannel shirt, he would walk by the curtains touching each until he found the flannel fabric to know that he was in the correct section. Next the shirts would be hung individually along racks for easy access to feel each one. Being vision impaired, I can imagine that from Chris’s perspective the feel of things would be more important than the appearance or look of things.


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Blog 5

This week we watched one of the coolest Ted Talks. Elora Hardy gave a talk about magical houses made of bamboo. I was amazed at all of the different ways the architects, designers, and builders would manipulate the bamboo and turn it into something beautiful and strong. The designs of the houses were meticulously thought out and planned to be multi functional and above all else sustainable. It made me wonder what else could people use bamboo for to replace a less sustainable material. Also it made me think why are people not taking advantage of this. Of course there were some complications, like when someone uses the restroom, the bamboo does not do a good job of keeping the sound in. But architects, designers and engineers should most definitely try to incorporate more sustainable materials such as bamboo into their work.

Another topic dealing with relating to the Ted Talk that we watched this week was Biophilic design in architecture.  The falling water house and the Thorncrown chapel were very intriguing to me. Especially learning that Thorncrown chapel is located in Arkansas so it would be a short trip to go visit and get to experience a church in a different and unique environment. We got to learn about different places around the world who incorporate nature into the buildings designs and/or environment. It excites me to see places really putting to practice these sustainable and environment friendly structures. As a consumer I would definitely be more intrigued going into a store where the environment resembled nature.

We discussed the article some of us read “Impact of in-store greenery on customers” as a class. We talked about why retailers are not trying to incorporate things such as trees and plants into their store environments. A lot of our answers were involving money. It takes a good investment to try and change the store environment and incorporate something new, like nature into the store. I also personally think with the quickly evolving and changing retail landscape, retailers are more focused on trying to win consumers with their products and reaching and exciting them with new technology, therefor that is where they are investing their money.

I was disappointed that I had to miss out on the trip to the sustainability office on campus this week, but as reading from other students blogs, I can tell it was a very interesting experience that was eye opening to see what all goes into recycling and being sustainable on campus.


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Sustainable by Design

I really liked the readings this week as they were relatable to my other classes as well. Biophillic design is really interesting to me, as I think it could be important to tie unnatural or manmade things to the natural world.  By doing this you are creating a more sustainable world and really bringing people back to nature.  We are incorporating this into our studio project and I hope to use this article towards some of the research.  We are using the idea that nature can be brought inside of a space and still seem like it belongs.

The Ted Talk is always one that I love because the material of bamboo is one of my favorite materials.  I used this talk about two semesters ago when I gave a group presentation over the material of bamboo and just how sustainable it is.  It is a product that can be used not only residentially but commercially as well.  It is one that I would push to use on any project due to lifetime and durability, even though it can be more costly.

This week getting the sustainability tour was actually a nice change.  Getting to see someone actually put into action what we talk about in class can really put things into perspective.  Being able to see how cardboard and paper can be recycled and then turned into a profit was really interesting.  Although not much profit is made I think that it is still worth the effort because it is good for the environment.  I also learned that you could not recycle glass in Stillwater which I did not know and will have to change about my recycling habits.  I also loved learning about how Stillwater and the OSU campus works really hard to be sustainable.

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Blog 5- Baker

This past week in Sustainability we discussed biophilia and the role it could play in designing for a more sustainable future. Biophilia we determined is the love of life, and of living things. I thought it was interesting to understand that humans subconsciously have a natural bond with nature as it is in our blood to acquire a kind of appreciation of our surrounding world. There are 14 patterns of nature that humans will be able to relate too including but not limited to, visual connections with nature, presence of water, and refuge. Clinically, it has been proven that by exposing nature in an individual’s environment, their stress levels, cognitive performance, and overall moods and emotions will improve. I can agree with this because I tend to do my best studying when exposed to natural light and I immediately destress when I take walks outside. This is important to note when designing for the retail environment since our ultimate goal is to make the customer as comfortable, and inspired as possible.

The 10 TED design strategies are all goals we as designers should focus more intently on. Elora Hardy’s bamboo shelters were perfectly strategized as she designed to minimize waste, to reduce chemical impacts, and to dematerialize, since all she used was bamboo. Bakey’s, the edible spoon, also was effective in reducing chemical impacts on not only our bodies, but on the environment as well.

Our trip to the recycling and sustainability center assured me that OSU is more sustainable than it seems. We have a garden outside the Atherton that ranchers club uses to harvest vegetables, there are recycling bins across campus that are being used, the campus is fairly bike friendly and public transportation is also widely used. Since a college campus is super populated with students who use up many resources, it only makes sense that it should try and be as sustainable as possible. Reduction of resources, reusing resources, and recycling are the best ways to create less waste in an environment.

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