WEEK 4 – CONSTELLATION: SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

Fascinating lecture looking at Sustainability and it’s 3 core strands (arguably 5):

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL & ECONOMIC

As a society we  need to understand the mandatory importance of the ENVIRONMENTAL Pillar, not the ECONOMIC. The environment is our habitat; we survive by what the world offers us. If we continue on the belief that wealth and material possessions are more important to us than the world we live in, then I am afraid we are doomed.

graphic

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without  compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

Huw asked me to choose 3 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that were important on a personal level, and comment why I chose each one:

GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION – Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development. Major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates in schools particularly for women and girls. Basic literacy skills have improved tremendously, yet bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals. For example, the world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, but few countries have achieved that target at all levels of education. EDUCATE TO INNOVATE.GOAL 7: AFFORDABLE & CLEAN ENERGY – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Sustainable energy is opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is leading a Sustainable Energy for All initiative to ensure universal access to modern energy services, improve efficiency and increase use of renewable sources. INNOVATE TO TRANSFORM.GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION & CONSUMPTIONSustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty. Sustainable consumption and production  aims at “doing more and better with less,” increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole life-cycle, while increasing quality of life. It involves different stakeholders, including business, consumers, policy makers, researchers, scientists, retailers, media, and development cooperation agencies, among others. It also requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain, from producer to final consumer. It involves engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others. PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE.
A Must Watch!! Professor Stuart Walker is a critic of the current economic system and frames the problem beginning at the Industrial Revolution, and becoming rampant during/after the 1950’s (Modernism/Post-Modernism). Economics only work under the flawed model of continuous growth, but at what cost? Unsustainability equates that polluters do not have to pay for their destruction, allowing the exploit of nature and people, which breeds nothing but a sense of meaninglessness. We as a civilization should be looking at re-framing, re-contextualizing and re-valuing what we already have, not coveting what we think we need.
Why aren’t we looking at the spirit of design, it’s functionality and sustainable efficiency? Imagine what could be done if we balanced economic and environmental efficiency; dematerialisation, the diversity of materials reduced to achieve savings in resource.
Could we all look at paying for a service rather than a product? For sure it would alleviate the supply and demand of resources needed for the individual, an idea proposed by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, and replace this capitalist mantra with a sense of sharing and community. Unfortunately, many services have now become markets to products they were meant to replace.
https://www.circulardesignguide.com/ This is a fantastic website and I intend to take full advantage of it when I have some spare time. What if we could redesign everything? What if all design today is sustainable? WOW!!
TASK:
Pick/choose 3 Sustainable Design Ideas within/close to our chosen practice Pathway: TEXTILE DESIGN

WEEK 3 – CONSTELLATION: SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

Fascinating insight into the workings of planned obsolescence within Design. Style is something that will always dictate the lifetime of a design, which in turn encourages consumption.

Gordon Lippincott suggested that Consumerism created strong industry, national prosperity with social benefits. He argues that this new created ‘democracy’ would allow these benefits to filter all the way down to the poor. The age of advertising and mass consumerism began in the 1950s. New equated to financial success and social conformation.

TASK

denis comp

We were given the task to find a 1950s Advertisement and break it down into obvious text and sub-texts. We chose BRYLCREEM, advertised by DENIS COMPTON (Sportsman), and began by deconstructing the image:

AFFORDABLE, STYLISH, ASPIRATIONAL, INTERCHANGEABLE, HYPER-MASCULINE & UNIFORMITY – Words attributed to the direct observation of the advert.

ILLUSION OF FREEDOM, THE PRODUCT TURNED DENIS COMPTON INTO A PRODUCT OF THE TIME, SOCIAL CLASS, IMAGE CONSCIOUS, CAPITALIST & STEREOTYPE – Looking beneath observation, and finding deeper meaning of the advert. VANCE PACKARDS explored these subliminal messages/text within his 1957 book, HIDDEN PERSUADERS. He identified that advertisers were promising products to people in such a fashion that it compelled them to buy just to satisfy. This resonated with me so strongly; I no longer buy what I want, but rather what I need.

Packard also wrote THE WASTE MAKERS, An exposé of “the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals’.

Huw detailed some of the best books to make use/research from:

VEBLEN – CONSPICUUS CONSUMPTION

NEUTRA – SURVIVAL THROUGH DESIGN

PACKARD – HIDDEN PERSUADERS, THE WASTE MAKERS

CARSON – SILENT SPRING

JAMES LOVELOCK – GAIA THEORY

Gaia-theory-960x675

It seemed that the 1960s – 70s (response to social issues) were a time of Green and Eco Revolution, but by the time the 1980s arrived the environmental debate became secondary in a society demoralised with concerns such as unemployment.

Thatcherism capitalised on this, dismissing ideas of society and social equity in favour of the hedonistic view of hard work and personal success.

Economic growth was perceived then as the barometer of individual well being, causing the consumption of symbolic and often over-styled goods to grow.

ART & DESIGN RESPONSES TO SUSTAINABILITY

Each ‘movement’ was subsumed by another, a chronological affair, derived from a GREEN to ECO to  SUSTAINABLE DESIGN.

GREEN DESIGN looked primarily at the cycle of RAW MATERIALS, RECYCLING and DISPOSAL, which although would help to curb some of the worst and most polluting parts of the product lifestyle chain, failed to address the bigger picture, and problems of the whole life cycle.

Huw got me thinking about the bigger picture of GREEN DESIGN:

RAW MATERIAL, PRODUCTION, MANUFACTURE, FILL & REUSE, MATERIAL FOCUS, USE, SEVICE AND DISPOSAL. Should we not try to address all the issues and problems of this product lifecycle? How would we be able to do this? Design, which addresses all environmental impacts of a product throughout the complete life-cycle of the product without unduly compromising other criteria like function, quality, cost and appearance. As a society we need to concentrate on both inputs and outputs throughout the product lifestyle. What would the worst output of a Battery entail? It’s disposal. A Kettle? It’s use. What about a T-Shirt? It’s production. What do all these have in common? They are the times the product creates the most damage to the environment.

THE TASK

Part 1

Life-cycle thinking – activity

  1. consider everything you did today from waking up to arriving at University 5 mins to discuss
  2. select one of the activities you did this morning – e.g. having a shower, making toast etc
  3. ‘draw’ a storyboard of the environmental impacts of your activity not only what happened within your house but where all the products/materials etc came from and how they were made 30mins to do this.
  4. What are your key areas of concern?
  5. Make three design recommendation based on these key concerns
  6. Present your storyboard to the group

My group decided upon the choice of James’ – ‘LISTENING TO MUSIC ON MY IPHONE’

PRODUCT LIFECYCLE

NATURAL (RAW) RESOURCES – WORKFORCE/FACTORY (CREATING EMISSIONS FROM ENERGY USE FOR PRODUCTION CENTRE) – WASTE MATERIAL FROM PRODUCTION (POLLUTING ECO-SYSTEMS AND HUMAN HABITAT) – TRANSPORTATION (EMISSIONS FROM CARGO/FREIGHT/SHIPMENT) – WORKFORCE/DISTRIBUTION (EMISSIONS FROM ENERGY USE FOR FACTORY/WAREHOUSE/SHIPMENT) – RETAIL (EMISSIONS/WASTE FROM ENERGY USE & PACKAGING) – CUSTOMER (EXPECTATION/TRAVEL TO RETAIL/CAUSING CO EMISSIONS/CREATING POLLUTED HUMAN HABITAT) – PURCHASE OF PHONE (EMISSIONS FROM ENERGY USE FROM CONSTANT RE-CHARGE OF PHONE – DISPOSAL (DANGEROUS AND HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS FOUND WITHIN BATTERY)

What would be the worst 3 aspects of the IPHONE Product Cycle? How could I as a designer combat these issues and create a sustainable design life cycle?

  1. PRODUCTION – Use of locally/ethically sourced and easily re-usable/re-cyclable materials.
  2. TRANSPORTATION – Local freight options/Electric Vehicles run from ethical and renewable energy companies/Shipping via sea not air.
  3. DISPOSAL – Looking at the battery? Does it have to be a battery to depend on electricity? Solar Panel screen? Micro tech from TESLA/Solar Crystals. Detachable parts (phone can always be repaired/refurbished. Loyalty. No waste. No plastics used for packaging/all recycled and reusable.

 

 

WEEK 2 – CONSTELLATION: SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN TO ME?

Sustainability means the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely; making do with what we have, not what we want.

sustainable city

BUZZ WORDS:

GREEN DESIGN. ECO DESIGN. SUSTAINABLE DESIGN. RENEWABLES. ENERGY EFFICIENT. CLEAN. LOW IMPACT. THOUGHTFUL. CARBON FOOTPRINT. RECYCLING. REDUCE CONSUMPTION. ALTERNATIVE. CONSCIOUS. ETHICAL. EFFICIENT. RESOURCEFUL. CONSERVATION. FUTURE. NATURE.

HOW CAN MY PRACTICE BE MADE MORE RESOURCEFUL?

  1. Be hyper-aware of the materials I use
  2. Take a keen interest in the production and manufacture of materials (supply chain)
  3. Choose a low-impact transport/distribution method i.e. shipping rather than air freight
  4. Use local produce
  5. Manufacture within own country
  6. Build a national dialogue on responsible consumption
  7. Communicate sustainability goals to customers and in corporate culture
  8. Only do business with companies/corporations that share the same moral and ethical code

WHAT DOES SUSTAINABLE ART & DESIGN PRACTICE MEAN TO ME?

I believe it is engaging/fusing my, and other artists’, creative practice with the social and ecological issues facing the world today, earning the knowledge, language, and skills necessary to excel in this emerging field. We need to ask ourselves what our art is for; why am I making it? Sustainability in Art does not have a typical look in the way that other genres do, but rather reflects the ideas about its purpose in society.

greensortplastics

 

PROGRESS

1st and 2nd Industrial Revolution

This system evolved, from answering basic needs, to the development of trade, industry, commerce and ultimately globalisation.

We have become very good at making, selling and buying things.

Consumption is arguably a defining characteristic of our society.

IR1

THE BIG PICTURE: UNDERPINNING ECONOMIC MODEL

IR2

What is the difference between a Linear and Circular Economy?

LINEAR: Intensive resource throughout/Fast consumption/Unsustainable

CIRCULAR:Closed resource loops/Slow Consumption/Sustainable

I know which economy model I would choose…a no brainer. So why do we continue to think that the Earth’s resources are finite? It stems from a flawed economic business model that dictates success only by continued consumption and capital growth. What happens when there are no more resources to consume or exploit? Society as we know it will collapse.

Artists and designers significantly influence the nature of, and, how we engage with visual / material culture.

The choices designers make have long-term impacts…

80% of environmental impacts of a product or service can be locked-in at the design stage!!!!!!

THE RISE OF UNSUSTAINABILITY: THE BEGINNING OF INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY

Definition of INDUSTRIAL:

  1. Relating to or characterised by industry
  2. Having highly developed industries
  3. Designed or suitable for industry
  4. Very great in extent or amount
  5. Relating to or denoting to a type of harsh, uncompromising rock/electronic music incorporating sounds resembling those produced by industrial machinery

PRE-INDUSTRIAL

  • Subsistence based economy – organised around meeting basic needs
  • Local scale production… Products were made by individuals or small groups in labour intensive ways i.e. hard physical work
  • no intensive industrialisation
  • Harmonious with nature – inherently sustainable
  • Mainly agrarian based economy
  • Dependant on natural and renewable resources i.e. water, wind , timber

ENLIGHTENMENT

Scientific Revolution
The introduction of the scientific method transformed society by using science and reason rather than political or religious dogma to explain natural phenomena.

Isaac Newton – Mathematic Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687) • Law of Gravity

• 3 Laws of Motion
This general approach enabled us to methodically solve problems!

TRADE ROUTES

Trade routes,, played a vital role in the formation of empires around the globe and were often sources for the exchange of not only goods, but of people and ideas.

AGRICULTURE

Invention of the Seed Drill (1701) – Jethro Tull. Allowing economic distribution of seeds. Faster and more efficient. Pioneer of Agricultural Revolution.

TEXTILES

Invention of Spinning Jenny (1764) – James Hargreaves. Supply and Demand met by huge increase in productivity. Faster and more efficient.