I really enjoyed watching this film because, despite the cheesy narration, it served as a good refresher course on the enter-workings of the environment as a whole. As the film walked us through the elements of a sustainable environment, the concepts that stood out to me the most were: fostering independence (the vicarion zone), and the presence of both “serendipity and chaos” as part of bringing about evolution. These stood out to me because they are concepts that on a social level western culture are not accepting of in its members, much less in its habitat. Collectivist cultures on the other hand value interdependence and unity. Collectivist cultures are also aware and accepting of the natural existence of opposing forces (serendipity and chaos, yin and yang [good and evil]) in both the environment and within us. We deny the environment its natural chaos through our own need for control and order. In order to sustain our existence in this changing environment we have to reenter the vicarion zone (a group of interdependent plants and animals reconnecting strains of different environments). Up to this point designers have been building structures that work against the nature because we have the technology and the fuel that allows us to ignore the environments natural rhythm. Now the environment is in a state of climate control chaos due to our recklessness. Like musicians in an orchestra we all need to be willing to “practice” our parts. We have been bad players thus far. We need to learn the rhythm of the environment so we can more easily play in harmony.
I also enjoyed revisiting fundamental scientific principles in a light format with clear parallels to design applications. As we approach new projects we need to keep in context the ecology of life and the role our design solutions will have upon human interaction and the surrounding environment. Understanding the significant scientific challenges that future generations will face helps us to arrive at better solutions and educate our clients as to why these solutions are the best choices. The ecology of life works in the background often separate from human notice. It is easy for us to ignore warning signs until we are pulled into the ramifications of natural disasters. The quiet and serenity of life can be instantaneously destroyed if we do not use caution to respect our role in the natural world. As designers we must be diligently aware of our impact the built environment has within its natural surroundings, and do our part to contribute to its delicate balance.
This film did a great emphasis on reconnecting with nature. They did a great point when they mentioned composing/decomposing/ recomposing. I think that is one of the clues to succeed when building sustainable environments. I believe it is not only of taking care of the products or materials we use when designing, but in the afterlife that they provide. By raising the question of what or how would this products or materials react in the environment after a period of time during the research stage is important. Another great point was to realize that looking for the “true cause” is another good clue to have a better understanding of how to build environments, integrating important information like the energy that consumes, manufacture standards or processes, and use. I think when environments are created already and we want to modify them to have a better use of the architecture we need to look for that “cause” that is the fact of the matter, not attacking the symptoms; because they are just consequences, and the problems will always be there.
Because I have gotten a bit behind on my posting I sifted through all of my notes for the films to refresh my memory. As I was reading the notes I was reminded of the passion I felt while watching the films and all the things I intended to do because of what I had learned. My first intention was to have a movie day with my sons and my niece. I particularly wanted my 15 year-old niece to watch “The Story of Stuff” and “Afluenza”. She is a stereotypical teenage girl who thinks entirely too much about clothes and accessories and her fickle tastes encourage her to adhere to the throw-away mentality. I want her to be a part of the solution instead of the problem. But so far I have not started working on her education in responsible values and understanding the importance of the future being bigger than next week's school dance. I tell myself that I would have had the movie day if I had not been working with my son on his Eagle project every minute that I was not working on school assignments and the basic necessities of living (laundry, dishes, doctor's appointments...) for the past few weeks. But life is always going to be busy for some reason and the time for guiding teenagers and changing the destructive path of our society is limited.It was good to be reminded of some of the basics of how life works. The theme song from “The Lion King” keeps running through my head as I think of the information the film shared. It does come down to simply keeping the circle going, not letting things (and the planet) end up in the landfill.
The explanation of sustainability and also the solutions that provides in this movie is very interesting. The fact that looking at the nature and mimic what it does is close to biomimicry. Based on what this film suggests, one of the solutions to have a sustainable system is creating close loops, the same as what is going on in nature. To me, it looks like a game, it is like one of my childhood games that we had to connect all the dots on the paper and whoever could make a close loop sooner was the winner of the game. The key point for winning was looking at the whole page and find the best. It is somehow similar to what we’ve learnt about sustainability which we have to look at the problem holistically. The close loop is about having diversity in the system and create a system which can support itself. This film mentions to some interesting points that show that we need to change our point of view and look at things differently: the way that they explained about serendipity and chaos, and how even chaos is necessary for the natural system and sustainability. Also, when the gentleman says the best way of access is to be there already, or look at the local material as a precious thing. Therefore, as we discussed before in the class, it is just the matter of the way we think and approach design, if we have the nature as the source of our inspiration, then we can create good design, which is sustainable design.