Homework Assignment #10

Posted: December 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Being a graphic design major, sustainability doesn’t really have an impact in my field of study, but I am definitely interested in discovering new ways to blend the 2 together. I cant see myself pursuing a career in sustainability because even though I found it interesting, I would not make it a part of my everyday life. I wouldn’t mind following advances in marketing because marketing and graphic design blend well with each other. Later on in my career, I would probably consider looking into sustainability in marketing for graphic design so I can possibly expand a design or logo I make and have it noticed globally. There is so much that people have to know about sustainability that I would consider going into marketing so that people can see that graphic design can be sustainable and not something that just involves computers. 

My overall understanding of sustainability is that it is very important to keep this world moving smoothly. People dont know that some things that they do in their everyday lives effect the world as a whole. Sustainability is something that should be talked about more in schools, especially at the middle school and the high school level of education. The highlight of the quarter for me was the Story of Stuff video that we watched in class because it really opened my eyes on how major companies operate from beginning in production to the end, which is waste. Another thing that stood out to me in this video was that the United States uses so much of their resources to the maximum level, that by the year 2030 we are going to need another 2 more planets to support the resources that we are using. The content that was most useful to me was the Story of Stuff video and the interview with the economist Manfred Max-Neef. Both of these stood out the most to me more than anything else that we watched in class because of the Story of Stuff described how companies produce their product and also how they end with so much waste, which is not good for the planet because most of it is plastic. The interview with Max-Neef was interesting because he was describing the world through the eyes of an economist and also people need to distinguish between knowledge and understanding. I don’t think that anything from this class was not useful. There was a meaning for every reading assignment and every video. I really enjoyed taking this class and I will definitely use some of the knowledge that I gained from this class to change our world for the better. 


Homework Assignment #9

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

I watched the interview with Chilean Economist Manfreed Max-Neff and I found it very interesting. He started his interview off by telling the story of how he spent 10 years studying poverty in extreme poverty places in the world. He said that he saw a man in India, standing in the mud, clearly struggling in life and he said that he nothing coherent to say to this man that would make him happy. He then said that invented a language that can teach people about poverty. Barefoot economics was mentioned and he said that economists are convinced that they know everything about poverty but they do not understand poverty which is why poverty still exists. Another thing that stood out a lot was when he said ,”We know a hell of a lot, but understand very little.” He also mentioned that there is a major difference between knowledge and understanding. “When you belong, you understand; when you are separated, you accumulate knowledge.” He mentioned that the major politicians know exactly what should not be done and they still do it. I agree with him completely because I do not like politics at all because everyone just says the same thing and nothing ends up getting done. He mentioned that another economic crisis is coming and he had different ways that can prevent that from happening. First he said that we need cultural economists. Second, economics that understands itself clearly under the finite system of the biosphere. Lastly he said that a system that cannot function with the presence of ecosystems. 

The political economy has so much that can be talked about. In my opinion, politics is very interesting and also very annoying at some times. There are so many little things that can affect politics of this nation and in turn affect the economy also. I think that politics can help the economy, but it can also severely hurt the economy. For example, the politicians that run for president and campaign about how they are going fix everything with the economy and everything is going to be alright. Throughout history, this can and cannot be true. The metaphor “machine” applies to both politics and the economy. I think that the “machine” that drives politics and the economy is money. Its as if nothing else can compare to money and its importance and how much value people put on money. Its not a bad thing to value money, however people have to look at the big picture. I also think that some of the politicians that run for presidents are just doing it get some media recognition and also to make some money. Some of them talk about complete bs and don’t what they are saying because they are too busy thinking about the money thats going into their pockets after campaigning. 

Homework Assignment #8

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

There are some examples that come into mind when we are talking about emergent redesign changes in society.  For example, all the car companies are now pushing toward a more economic efficient vehicle. In other words, they are trying to design cars that do not use gas at all but rather use other types of energy to get them to work. The reason behind this is so that the vehicle gets more “miles per gallon” of gas that is. In todays world, some cars are like toys now; you charge them fully, drive them until it doesn’t have anymore charge left in the battery and then you charge them again. Another example of emergent effort of redesign is the Obamacare situation thats going on right now. Before Obamacare, some people could not afford health insurance, or the health insurance that they had did not cover the necessary needs of the patients. With Obamacare, people are provided different health insurance plans that fit well within their budget and also their needs.

I actually enjoyed reading “The Nature of Refueling”, by Jane Jacobs. She starts off first by describing how we eat food and how we break down the food to create energy for our bodies. Then she goes on to describe that the remaining energy that we don’t use from food we use it to go and find more food. This concept is the first characteristic of a refueling system. The other characteristic that is mentioned in the reading is that some organisms equip themselves appropriately with the fuel that they use. Thats more of the physical and biological aspect of refueling system. In terms of economics, payments are the fuel for the economy. In other words, you pay the payments for certain things and the economy runs smoothly; you don’t pay payments, the economy suffers.                                                                          

Homework Assignment 7

Posted: November 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

In the movie, RIP! A Remix Manifesto, produced by Brett Gaylor, the main grasp of the movie is about the large companies and corporations controlling the media and what is put out to the public. The movie mainly emphasized the trademark and property rights of music. If an artist makes a song and doesn’t trademark it to be his or hers then someone else can just take the same song or beat and remix it a little and call it theirs. I think that music isn’t the only thing that these large companies and corporations try to control. The whole concept of copyrighting something is very tricky and people have to be careful especially when it comes to the media. In todays society, the media will chew you up for even the smallest thing and make you look like someone that you are not because that is what todays media is and thats what they do. We are ruining the culture of music and these companies are just in it for the business and getting money in their pockets. The business aspect has taken over the media meaning that most artists today do what they do because of the money rather than enjoying making music. Music is really important to me, but thats beyond the span of this topic; so to see what these companies are doing to musicians and what they are making out these musicians to be is just disgusting. Money runs everything now and its ridiculous. 

In the excerpt shown in class, “The Price of Sugar”, the video displays the sugar industry that takes place in the Dominican Republic that runs a harsh system of labor and exploitation. The sugar plantation in the Dominican Republic brings in workers from different places such as Haiti. These people are told that they will be making good money if they come work on the sugar plantation and they will be able to make enough money to support their families. They are actually lied to and rather only given a place to stay and very low class treatment in terms of clothing and food. They put in long and hard hours of labor in very harsh working conditions and they are supervised by guards that carry guns, so running away isn’t really an option. We have seen this throughout history; companies use people from third world countries for hard labor and they are treated like dogs. Something needs to be changed because this is not humane at all. 



Homework Assignment #6

Posted: November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

There are a lot of interesting things that stand out in the RSA Animate short from Dan Pink called Drive. There are a lot of different things that motivate people in the work force and organizations. Some people see that money is the motive in the organization. One thing that stood out was when the test was done with 3 different levels of rewards was that as long as the task involved the use of mechanical skills and not much creative thought, more money equals better performance. However, once the tasked called for rudimentary cognitive skills, larger rewards led to poor performance. The way I see it, theres only one explanation for this, people care too much about money and put so much value on getting rewarded that the task at hand ends up being done at a very poor level. Moreover, being rewarded for doing straight forward mechanical tasks is simple, but when the performance level goes down when people are asked to use a little bit of brain power and cognitive thought, it just shows that some people are in their job just because of the money. Personally, I would too because money is hard to come by these days but people just need to find other things that motivate them to perform at higher levels other than money. 

Dr. Deming played a key role in America during World War II. Dr. Deming was a statistician that graduated from Wyoming university and he spent most of his young life calculating the population for the census of America. During World War II, Deming’s skills were used to train the managers who had to run the production lines for the war effort. Eliminating waste a key message that he spread throughout the production lines. They began using reusable and scarce materials. Deming basically gave Japan a face in the world. Before he came into the picture and taught Japan about his ways in production, Japan didn’t really have a name in the manufacturing field. He visited Japan every 6 months and taught them the same thing every time. His fishtail diagram demonstrates that any system is the sum of its human parts. He also mentioned that people in the system must cooperate with each other to ensure better performance. Its pretty cool how one man and his idea can change a whole nations view on something. Dr. Deming really did a huge favor for Japan. 

Homework Assignment 5

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

In the video shown in class, Ashok Khosla talks about how nature can be a blueprint for design in a variety of different fields and studies. This video was significant to the engineers and designers in our world because what they don’t know is that one of the best examples of design and engineering are found in nature. Dr Khosla also mentions that the world is over using the resources that we have and that if we continue on with the rate that we are using the resources, by the year 2030 we will need an extra 2 planets to help maintain the resources. Another thing that I found very interesting in the video is the part about Mercedes Benz designing a new, sleek car. Designers and engineers are studying the anatomy and specs of a box fish. Dr Khosla mentioned that the box fish has the most aerodynamically designed body on the planet I believe and Mercedes Benz is going to use this fish to help design a car with a similar design that is very Earth friendly and sustainable. 


Being a graphic design major, the overall topic of sustainability is a bit difficult to blend together. I think there are some examples of complex adaptive systems, autonomous agents and emergence in the field of graphic design. For example in fashion; when a particular style of clothing is trending in the public, that design gets used in a variety of different ways. When the trend dies down a bit, a new design emerges and adapts the publics taste and appeal. This again works with the iPhone. Every year, Apple makes a new iPhone model that is just a little bit different than the previous model. So lets say someone has the iPhone 5S right now and in a year, the iPhone 6 comes out with a sleek new design and cool features, that person will want to get the iPhone 6 because it is more appealing to the public. In the society that we live in, most people like to stay up to date with their technology, and they will do that no matter what the cost is. People will still buy the iPhone when it comes out every year because they every year, the trend changes for Apple and their products. 

Homework Assignment #4

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Being a graphic design major, there are very few examples of sustainability that I can talk about. However, graphic design does provide a link to a regenerative system. For example, gaming and the software and consoles that are used. Designers would design a console that only runs specific games, such as the Xbox 360 or the PS3. Xbox can’t run PS3 games because it is formatted a different way. Moreover, the Xbox Home and the PS4 will be released sometime during the holidays. These new systems can not run Xbox 360 or PS3 games. Basically, every couple of years, designers make minor changes to the software and graphics to gaming systems and sell them for hundreds of dollars more than the older ones. These companies still make billions of dollars off of these “new” gaming consoles despite the very minor changes. This regenerative system is very similar to Apple and the iPhone. Every year, Apple makes a new phone and millions of people around the world camp outside of electronic stores, Apple stores to get their hands on the newest phone.

In the video, 12 Sustainable Design Ideas from Nature, the speaker, Janine Benyus makes it very clear that the solutions to design problems or sustainability problems in design lie in nature and that researchers can figure out these solutions by just changing the lense in which they see the world through. She mentioned that there are 3.8 billion years of research and field study on mother Earth and that there are 10-30 million solutions are all around us. She defined biomimicry as the “conscious emulation of Life’s Genius”. This translates into taking the genius of the natural world and learning something from it. Biology also plays a key role in finding the solutions to problems on Earth. Janine mentioned that there are 12 big ideas in biology that can make our life a lot easier. They are; self assembly, CO2 as a feedstock, solar transformations, power of shape, quenching thirst, metals without mining, green chemistry, timed degradation, resilience and healing, sensing and responding, growing fertility, and the final one which is life creates conditions conducive to life.