Last week I presented to my fellow masters students and tutor where my interests lie in reference to specific design agendas. I started the presentation by calling it 'where am I or the decider' so I have decided to name this blog post the same thing.
In my presentation, I speak about a lot of different areas of interest to me. The main being my interpretation of functional biomimicry and how I see the infamous ‘Cradle-to-cradle’ theory being just that: functional biomimicry of the natural eco system. Without trying to sound too much like the Lion King, I believe we need a ‘Circle of Life’ product rethink.
I believe we are the throw-away generation and instead of forcing people to be sustainable through longevity, that we should embrace that we are this throw-away generation and create products that are meant to be thrown away. In nature, there is no waste; everything is created with the pure intent to go back into the earth and benefit it in one way or another.
However, as much as I enjoy the Cradle-to-Cradle concept, the approach, in my opinion, is all wrong. There are two ways you can read C2C. The first is from a hopeful standpoint in that we can rethink the way we design and be more sustainable and considerate for the planet in that way. Yet, the other, the initial proposal is that of a hopeless standpoint. Everything you do has a negative impact on the earth, from your shoes, to your food, to your products. We are depicted as the cancer of the earth. Maybe in some ways we are but phrasing it in that way makes people say ‘well why should I bother?’ and therein lies the problem. How can we expect change when we do not respect the individuals who going to be the ones to enforce it?
C2C lacks empathy for people and does not consider the emotional side behind why we act in certain ways. Why do I buy that product? Does it evoke a memory? Does it make me feel happy? Does it offer me a form of stress relief? The majority will not buy a product for the pure intent of harming the planet it is merely a bioproduct of that product. Understanding the emotional side behind products is key to inspiring change and leaving an impact.
I believe ‘ecological’ products need to be more than just that. They need to be ‘eco-vative’. I spoke after the presentation about how one day all products will be ecological considered because we honestly have no choice otherwise. In the meantime, however, ‘eco’ products need to be more innovative and an, all around, better solution than the original. If the only different is one is worst for the planet, but the ecological option is cheaper, better quality and more effective than the original, people will be buying for those reasoning’s rather than the green label. Not everyone wants to be labelled an environmentalist but we all must become one in our own way.
I spoke briefly on the subject of time and how as I referred to in the previous blog post, we are not running out of time but rather limiting it. Nature needs time to create. It needs time to create a life cycle. We are so obsessed with time but are so wasteful of it. We don’t take the time to do anything anymore. Everything has a ‘deadline’, a ‘schedule’, a ‘router’, planned way ahead of time and if we don’t follow those models by the book we are ‘wasting time’. Oh, the irony.
Overall, I feel I presented these views clearly in the presentation and was recommended to consider critical design as it relates to some of the topics I spoke about. I was told I have a theme of care, empathy and emotion which is exactly what I wish to portray. I look forward to taking these thoughts and ideas into the next collaborative project and see how different minds work to create a final solution.
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