New Ideas on the Way / by Caroline Ingalls

This past week I had the pleasure of attending the graduate reviews for the current Design for Sustainability master’s students at SCAD. This review allows them to go on to the Final Project of the program, where they have the opportunity to take on any project of their choice that pertains to the values of sustainability. Four very talented girls gave thoughtful and thorough presentations, and each of them have decided to take on very different yet extremely influential areas of sustainability.

Some great points were raised and ideas were discussed in those presentations. I really enjoy hearing about other people’s perspectives on sustainability and design, and what strategies we can use to make the world a better place. I believe that by putting all of our creative minds and collective knowledge together, we could really make some serious impacts. Sustainable change is not something that can be done individually; it requires all of us to come together and use our many talents to achieve a greater good. Here are some compelling excerpts that I pulled from the presentations: 

"Every fundamental human need that is not being met is a poverty."
"Sustainability is not a compromise; it is a way for us to connect more deeply than ever with others."
"Our challenge is to harness the power of people to make the world a better place."
"Awareness does not necessarily mean action, but it is one step along the way."
"Humans and nature must exist in productive harmony." 

As people, we have come so far in creating and innovating to achieve the lifestyles that we have today. Why don't we harness that power and intellect that we have and use it to give back to the earth all that it has generously given us? The planet has benefited us entirely, so why can't we live in a way that benefits the earth as well? These are just a few things to think about. It's almost back to the basics of childhood learning: don't take more than you can give. 

I am really looking forward to the ideas and strategies that come out of the SCAD sustainability students' final projects. They are tackling areas of social sustainability that have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of many people, communities, cities, and beyond. They are looking in to new methods of communication; even looking in to emphasizing sustainability through music festivals. That is genius to me. It can be a tough connection to make, but once you think about it, the younger generations today are driven and inspired by music. It lifts people up instantly, so how can we put sustainability in to that equation? I can't wait to find out! That's the sort of 'out of the box' crazy yet awesome thinking that can really take us to the next level of sustainable change.