Science and technology has been moving forward at an astounding speed in the last few hundred years, giving rise to amazing opportunities for design and problem solving. Not just through short cuts and convenience items, but bigger issues such as health care, so that more and more people have access, and a better chance at living to a decent age. Unfortunately, with every advancement and technological success, there are often also consequences. Issues such as over-population, or an aging population for developed countries since people are now living so much longer than what they used to. Not to mention numerous other problems created through other advancements, such as global warming, and over consumption.
While I don’t think it’s possible to change or fix all our problems overnight, I do think that any resolutions would have to come through promoting behavioral changes. I personally believe that the core issue we humans have is that while have advanced technologically in leaps and bounds, while our development as a society is stunted – we have access to such amazing technologies and at times even the solution are right in front of us yet due to bureaucracies and human selfishness we are unable to solve the issues we should be fixing (eg. we technically grow enough food to feed the world, yet the are still many countries that go hungry).
I think that education, design, and planning are three of the best ways to get the behavioral changes that I think we need. And while I am not an educator, I do believe that planning and design go well together, and can play a major part in tackling the big issues we face today. The areas I am most interested in designing for is for reducing waste, increasing self-sufficiency and sustainability especially in urban areas, biomimcry or design for biological systems to learn from the way nature solves problems, and lastly I am also interested in designing for animals. It may seem odd, since animals (aside from humans) is often not considered as a core issue, but it is an issue that has personal relevance to me because I believe the earth is meant to be shared and design should not just be human-centered but to encompass the animals that are forced to live with and work for us. There are so many systems that are entwined to keep our earth running the way it should. More and more animal habitat is being damaged and taken for human use, yet we have made little room in our designs for the animals we displace, or use for our own purposes, whether it’s food animals that don’t get adequate care, or companion animals who are given a life in a human world to live by human rules, if we are using them for our purposes, I really believe it should be our responsibility to provide them with the means to live well.