Monday, 19 October 2009

Overall Reflections

By: Zhanel Zhanablova

In my view sustainability is one of the most important topic of today’s world. However most people have a lack of knowledge about this issue. Now as the world is being more global such issues as ethical, economical, environmental are rising day by day. Being sustainable is being ethical in every sense, being friendly to the environment, with people around you and with the nature. It is not only about going green. That is my own understanding of sustainability. I would say that sustainability is a broad area that explores what it really means, the ways to be sustainable and what people should do in order to be friendly to the environment and people around them. Sustainable development is more of seeing sustainability in practice, when people start to act after gaining knowledge and when you can actually see reasonable results.

The issue here is to actually involve design and engage designers to create sustainable around us for instance by designing sustainable packaging and ability to re-use products. That is why it is important to come up with creative solutions and be able to spend less money, but to get reasonable outcomes. Human factor here is the most important resource in order to make sustainability work and receive pleasure as a result.

Innovation is another driving force for sustainability. It helps to come up with new and innovative solutions. Again designers are the ones who will be involved in the development process and be able to apply these ideas into practice and make sure they will work.

Think Tank is a web-based forum designed for Regent’s Business School design management students and Australian students. It allows us to communicate, share our views and ideas on different topics including sustainability, pleasure and innovation. This forum is a huge opportunity for all of us to communicate, discuss different issues, see various views and be able to come up with innovative solutions. For me it is rather hard to express by feelings in big audiences but at Think Tank I felt more confident to write about what I feel and what I think because I was surrounded by same students as myself and it was non face-to-face communication. It was very important to see how people react and the way they answer stated questions. It was very exciting to hear so many views, to learn something from it and make own conclusions. The questions in this forum made me think about many different things that people usually take for granted such as sustainability, pleasure, biomimicry, consumerism etc.

First we had to answer "What is pleasure?" That was my answer: "Pleasure... pleasure is a very sensitive word because of its nature. There is no single word or single definition to define PLEASURE. Everyone can have a different feeling about it, and you can't go wrong. In my view pleasure is not only about the comfort and satisfaction. It is more about harmony within yourself AND the external environment. It is a feeling of fullfillness and delightfullness. It is also the state when an individual finds peace and balance. Some people can feel pleasure during shopping, buying a new car, eating chocolates etc. In other words, pleasure can be seen differently by individuals, but it is always a positive feeling.”

First weeks of the discussion I found very intense and exciting and we had less topics to talk about. Later on we had more and more discussion boards and more participants that made it a bit difficult to navigate throughout the questions because student were posting opinions almost at the same time and we had a lot to read before replying to any, but still it was fun and I gained a huge experience out of this forum.

I believe that Think Tank helped me to “think outside the box” and explore creative ideas and thoughts. Also it was useful to explore interactive learning experience. Now I will be able to apply everything that I have learned and gained while communicating with people in future. Better understanding of sustainability issue, pleasure and innovation broadened my mindset.

Innovation, sustainability and pleasure weighs a lot as it has different meanings attached to it and has dissimilar concept of working, these influence customers these days and therefore industries need to compete along to make these terms unique and maintain it in the future

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