In today’s culture technology is speeding up our lives, creating the perceived need for everything to be faster, newer, better, sleeker, now! As we train the next wave of designers, they are faced with these challenges both as consumers and producers. Simultaneously, the world is faced with the climate change crisis. On global and local levels the impacts of environmental degradation are real and impacting our communities. The need for designers to think and work sustainably has never been greater. One of the greatest challenges in teaching sustainable design is doing so within our culture that values speed. So much of our daily habits and lifestyles rely on quick, convenient decisions that ultimately lead to unsustainable patterns.
To truly tackle issues in sustainability we, as designers and consumers, need to slow down. Slowing down allows us to understand the complicated impacts of spilt second decisions so that we can redesign a better solution. Slowing down allows us to understand community and those around us. Slowing down allows us to question how we live, and how we want to live. Integrating mindfulness based practices into design education better prepares students to be more conscious designers in the future. As a result, not only are they conscious designers, they are also more conscious citizens. As such, one might hope, that future generations can combat fast moving lifestyles and create a more sustainable future.
Research on Designfulness has been presented at:
- Design Incubation, San Jose, CA, September 2017
- Impact! Design for Social Change, SVA, New York, NY June 2015