Future Facing Sustainability

The talk we had with Neil today has really helped to solidify some of the ideas we’ve been having about creating a sustainable, community-lead initiative within the University.  By creating ‘social’ spaces that can give students the freedom they need, as well as providing a platform from which new relationships can spring is something we really want to achieve.  Something the client expressed to us was that there’s a real lack of inter-school relationships, as each school can be quite insular, and this is something the University would like to address and tackle.  If we were able to create something for the students in order to help create these opportunities I feel we’ll have achieved our goal. Our focus has been to improve the environment for the students, which should have a number of positive outcomes;

  • Widespread feeling of ownership, and in turn pride in the campus and of being part of the Cardiff Met student community, feeling part of a group.
  • Increased environmental awareness through more positive association with the environment itself – simply, if the students are pleased with the environment and happy within it, they will naturally take better care of it (i.e. littering).
  • Feeling of community – a sense of being part of something that benefits the individual and the whole, i.e. yourself and your surroundings/fellow students.
  • Purposeful design that engages the students – creates positive atmosphere, ‘safe space’, designed by students for students.

User experience focused on how the user experienced the design itself, it focuses on the characteristics of the product itself.  This remains important, but in order to push boundaries as a designer, and also of how creativity affects our world, we must move towards sustainable personal experience.  How does your design trigger experiences?  Of course the quality and aesthetics, ease of use, materials, are all still important, but this is not enough anymore.  How will our design trigger feelings and experiences in the viewer/user.

Your empathy and your insight will give you a step up in understanding how other people feel things and to understand their action/inaction and to bring a creative process around that.  How you feel about things that happen to other people is a design skill that can be nurtured and used in your design.

By knowing what you want to achieve through your creative input can help shape your direction.  What do you want to achieve with Healthy University?  By knowing how you’d like things to turn out can keep things on track and prevent distraction, or can identify superfluous elements.  Where are the gaps?

OWNERSHIP – what we are seeking to trigger is that the person who encounters your creativity or design proposal will take on board self-motivation, take ownership of what is being presented.  How can we adapt to trigger this?

BELONGING – how does your creative proposal trigger a sense of community, of relationships.  How does our design create the feeling of connection with other people by doing what is requested of them.

PURPOSE – how does your creative proposal trigger a sense of hope, and give meaning to what the person does.  Not doing it because they are told to do something, but because they want to.  They believe in it, take ownership of it, have a feeling of belonging, and gives it meaning that adds value and hope.


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