I’ll be honest, Sustainable Design was not my first choice for the Expanded Practice unit, but I could never have imagined that I would learn so much over the course of these seven sessions. It introduced me to several strategies that I was not familiar with, and made me realise the importance of key topics that apply to Interior and Spatial Design.
Sustainability is a concept that has spread over every field of design. Before learning about sustainable design, my aim for the future was to design the most aesthetically appealing buildings. I had never taken the environmental impacts into consideration. However, as I was introduced to the TED’s Ten strategies I began to realise the influence that a designer has on the society; they play a key role in shaping it for better or worse. The strategies have changed my approach to design by making me more conscious of the social and environmental factors. For the world to become an environmentally friendly pace, it is essential that we, as designers, keep sustainability in mind and incorporate it in all aspects of our work, whether we are designing buildings, products or clothes.
Instead of keeping myself limited to researching topics that only related to Interior and Spatial Design, I tried to expand my knowledge over most areas of design (e.g. Textiles and product design). You never know which piece of information or technique can come in handy in our area of work. Doing so helped me develop a better understanding of which TED’s Ten strategies are the most relevant to my practice/projects, as well as making me understand the areas I feel strongly about.
The two strategies that are most significant to me are Design Activism and Design to Minimise Waste. Design Activism is one of my personal favourite strategies as it allows the designer to step away from creating products and connect to the consumer face-to-face to transform the society in a positive way. They have the complete freedom to choose the medium through which they contribute to the world: from giving inspirational talks to creating a revolutionary product that ends an epidemic. Design to Minimise Waste is another strategy that I enjoyed studying as waste is a global problem and the possibilities to reduce it are endless. I discovered many creative and effective solutions that haven’t been implemented. Waste – whether it is plastic in the ocean or disposed items in landfills – is a serious issue which needs to be resolved to save the future generations and the wildlife. A major aspect of minimising waste is to recycle or upcycle it. Both give the product a new life and character, reducing what is disposed of.
I was pleased that, because of the Sustainable Design sessions, I was able to discover different forms of and several approaches to design. For my work, Design that Takes Models from Nature and History is the most important strategy. This is because design constantly must be modified, and if that is done by learning from the past and taking inspiration from nature, I believe we can deliver more efficient outcomes to the consumer. There are countless examples of spaces that are inspired by ancient architecture. A prominent one in London is the “Egyptian Hall” in Harrods. The hall houses Egyptian style clothing which you can buy and is decorated with Egyptian statues, the sphynx, the pyramids, hieroglyphs and columns.
To improve my blog and research, I would like to continue exploring the rest of the TED’s Ten strategies. Doing so will introduce me to more concepts and techniques which will expand my practice and broaden the spectrum of creative choices I have as a designer. Continuing my study of the ten strategies will help me produce efficient and unique outcomes.
Sustainable Design has affected my approach to design in a positive way. It has trained my mind to take the environment, the employees, as well as the social issues into consideration before setting a decision into stone.
Places To See In Your Lifetime. (2018). Top 10 Structures Inspired by Ancient Architecture | Places To See In Your Lifetime. [online] Available at: https://www.pandotrip.com/top-10-structures-inspired-by-ancient-architecture-20819/