Interactive community has been absent in the conversation about sustainability but it is that community that will take a lead in moving things forward
Good fortune and ill fortune across time. Vonnegut: primary narratives – a bearable life, lose something important and regain it, overcoming misfortune. Or a person who finds something they like, lose it and get It back.
Any story, from Tess of the D’Urbevilles, John Grisham, etc and plot them this way.
The other narrative is a graph of Metamorphosis. A hopelessly unhappy man becomes a roach.
These are the narratives of sustainability. The Kafka narrative is the same. It’s an abstract notion you cannot participate in or change. Environmental toxins, natural disaster, climate, illness. Political corruption: a society full of diabetics, chronically ill, health care system, etc. Why does a salad cost more than a big mac. Garbage in the north pacific, burn pits in iraq, etc. Haiti – natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes linked to climate change. Polar ice cap puts pressure on plates on earth surface. It amplifies the corruption in building and construction etc.
Designers’ Accord – to answer what do w do in the barrage of negativity and apocalyptic imagery around the planet. Y bring the creative community together, we can look at social, cultural, environmental issues together, creatively and optimistically. Dependence on the collective wisdom. DA: a Kyoto treaty of design with 5 guidelines: personal and collective accountability )educate self and teams and clients to reflect greater responsibility and share stories about successes and failures.) Collective initiative. Digital and face to face, town hall meetings, gatherings to work as a group.
Case studies in major publications – tackling issues of sustainability, the honest story, applying judegement at every step, a constant struggle.
Design educators with a changing value system. Schools and companies around the world working together.
Sustainability can’t be seen as being beyond us. Constant total length. Your environment has two fixed points, between which any action creates reverberation through the system.
Seven ways to think about Sustainability in a broader terms in ways the interactive community can lead in:
- A system is more than the sum of its parts. The hippo roller – an easy way to transport vast quantities of fresh water rather than the previous method: women and kids have to miss out on education etc to drag five gallon buckets, leading to loads of associated problems, etc. Environmental, cultural, social and economic factors.
- In systems thinking, there are feedback delays. Adjustments take a while to be manifested. Decisions based on knowledge immediately available. Design trap, you design for the symptoms, not the problem.
- Creating the right measurement of success. In US it’s the GNP as our indicator of prosperity but it only reflects the money in the economy. This can be challenged: the Master Plan deigned by HOK architects with Bio-mimicry Guild Biologists who work with designers and architects. The Lhasa: ecological performance standards for the built environment, looking at what the land did in the ecosystem before buildings. They build everything so that buildings perform in the same way. Exaggerated present will diminish
- Selecting correct lever for change: People tend to identify the wrong thing to change when they’re building something. Government in Romania noticed drop in birth rate so they forbade contraception and abortions. Burst of births but then it levelled out and mortality rate of likely mothers spiked due to lousy abortions. Also abandoned kids in orphanages. Goal was to increase birth rate but they pulled the wrong level. Mythology of design isn’t really accurate; change the rhetoric to reflect the way the world works. Lever for change: NAKED PIZZA. Four guys in New Orleans who built a shack for pizza, the healthiest pizza. Take the concept and scale it as a trojan horse into fast food industry, competing with unhealthy companies. Diff goal to fast food industry (make money) but rather than activism or whole foods mentality (expensive) they use pizza as Trojan horse to talk about these issues.
- Leading thinker – Dana Meadows. Systems thinking and slinky. Latent structure of slinky and its behaviour are inherently linked. A system cannot behave differently unless its structure is changed. The HUB, started in London in 2005. Shared space for social entrepreneurs in a networked environment to provide a context for enabling collaboration. Putting people together to share ideas. Novel business environment and support social entrepreneurs with new access to capital, maintaining their missions. Global structure is bringing ideas to fruition. Structure and behaviour are connected.
- Issue attention cycle. Cycle with five different phases. A group discovers a problem in society, set out to change, realise costs, peters out. Rising of public awareness about a problem. When public gets awareness about political or social issue, degree of public action inversely correlates. Excitement but inaction. Designers Accord could become a victim of this. A few hundred thousand people getting interested in a topic has a tranquillising effect. The think someone else is handling it. Sustainability movement could get fatigue and opt-out around it. People think someone else is looking after it.
A system is made up of elements and interconnections that are highly organised to achieve an overall goal or purpose. For change, you have to change the purpose or goal to change the system’s behaviour. Interactive community is conspicuously missing. Be the connecting voices between the disciplines and articulate the purpose for the creative community at large. The interactive e-community is the one to do it.
What if social media were about social impact. What is games were for addressing issues?
Interactive community is the connective tissue between various universes.
We exist at the pleasure of system – culture, economy, environment, society. Interactive community must lead – this is the time to make the change, to use the innate qualities of interactive-ness, systems thinking to make change, communicate with audiences and each other.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.