Seeing balanced led me to see sustainably. Sustainability never crossed my mind until after I left University, but the tools I was introduced to while studying were necessary to train my eyes to see the world in balance. Even though the tools were designed for learning specific subjects, overall their approach taught me a skill that went unnoticed - they taught me to time-travel. History of architecture, history of furniture, history of art, history of products, history of this, history of that, create future architecture, create future furniture, create future art, create future products, create future this, create future that. All day everyday my mind was going into the past to learn and into the future to create. And because my program was based on physical design, over time, I became really good at time-traveling the physical world. Although there are so many emotional constructs that drive design of the physical, especially through aesthetics, my program taught me balance through design for the physical needs of humans.
My balanced vision helped me see furniture as it is today - this was not part of the curriculum. On city streets, most people walk around broken beaten chairs they see as garbage, but I would stop to inspect its injuries, picture its life story, and wonder where it would go next. Furniture garbage inspired me, it was littered everywhere on city streets, but no one would talk about it, not even my design program. There is 9.8 million tones of furniture waste created every year, shouldn't the statistics of furniture waste be taught in 'history of furniture' books? Our history is literally littered at our feet. Can anyone else see this? Shouldn't the effects of each individuals waste be common knowledge? What really happens to furniture garbage? What happens to all garbage? Are there any solutions to these problems? My questions didn't stop there and only expanded with curiosity.
For the first time, "create for the future" had real meaning and I realized that all my current furniture was designed for the 'present'. It was designed for the same end result as furniture of the past; aside from aesthetics, nothing changed. I finally understood that creating for the future meant first envisioning what I want the future to look like. My picture of the future was still very blurry at this point in time, but I knew one thing for sure, my vision of the future had no furniture waste.
I practiced time-travelling with every material, process, and need through each furniture endeavour. I travelled to the past and learned stories of seeds and elements, their ability to transform into usable resources, and their capacity to shape humanity's observable reality. I travelled to the future through statistical knowledge and learned that I could see a clear picture of potential outcomes for Earth, and that these projections show a world far from the beauty I see in my mind. Ultimately, my focus on human needs led me to see the needs of Earth and Business too. This is where I saw 'Sustainability' for the first time, and when I started to 'see' sustainably.
I now design by learning from mistakes of the past, envisioning the world of the future, and meeting the needs of the present. I use sustainable sight to look at a physical object with depth and across time, and by doing this enough, I see that everything in the end proves to be connected.
Although I do not have the funds, I have a formula, a seed, a vision, that could transform our physical world into a balanced sustainable reality. This seed holds a plan for what is beautiful, because beauty is all I see in our future. I know now that sustainability is complicated, but it is necessary for our survival and therefore, it is important that we learn about it, and learn to act responsibly. I have gathered all the sustainable proteins of information to build my seed, but there is so much out there I can not find, and so much that humanity does not know. Instead of tip-toeing around the term 'sustainability', 'green', 'earth-friendly', 'eco-friendly', maybe we need to sit down and fully understand its complexity, especially in the physical design of our reality.
Sustainability is the magic that will save Earth and Humanity, and we all have it, we just have to learn how to use it.