Environmental and Social Design

Naturally for me I think I lean more towards the environmental side of things when it comes to graphic design. I think this is mostly due to my mom emphasizing the importance of being ecologically aware when it comes to pollution and climate change when I was a child. I still greatly consider important social aspects in my design but I think environmental issues are something that I’m a bit more passionate towards. Last Wednesday’s lecture made me think more about material usage and research to practice sustainable design. Previously as a graphic designer I hadn’t given much thought to physical material usage since most of my work is done digitally but I think I will try to prioritize and be more aware of stuff like what brand of paper I am buying as well as other things along those lines. I decided to write my research paper about creating a sustainable work environment in regards to design because I wanted to develop a better understanding of the background and usage of materials globally so that I could make more informed decisions when working with physical materials for design related projects.

I think everyone in my generation has a responsibility to be the change they want to see. There are some issues that are largely systemic that can’t be helped in some cases but at least at a micro level I think people should do there best within reason. It isn’t too difficult to make personal changes such as supporting more ecologically friendly companies. You could also recycle more and make other smaller changes that wouldn’t change your quality of life. In terms of graphic design I think it is kind of similar. The lack of ecological concern is primarily a systemic issue. Because of this I wouldn’t expect everyone to push towards a more ecologically friendly design process, but for the people who have the option to I think they should always take it if they can afford to without losing their own well being. Of course everyone has their own subjective opinion of what well being may be for themselves. I think the most important thing overall is that designers are aware of the gravity of their choices when it comes to ecological impact.

Bio mimicry is a very interesting topic when it comes to designing functional products such as architecture, apparel, and so on. The example of the building in Nairobi, Kenya probably stood out the most to me in the Wednesday lecture. I imagine you could also use the idea of bio mimicry in visual design as well to potentially create more satisfying or efficient visual solutions.

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