ASSIGNMENT #13 – TED Talks reflection

Part 1

  • Watch each of the four TED TALKS
  • Write your reflection on each of them (your take on: what did you learn? What was surprising for you?)
  • LP Update- Send the URL link to my attention CANVAS

William McDonough

Architect William McDonough believes green design can prevent environmental disaster and drive economic growth. He champions “cradle to cradle” design, which considers a product’s full life cycle — from creation with sustainable materials to a recycled afterlife.

While many have approached green design as a method for environmentally responsible building or a better economic choice, McDonough digs at what I believe is the greatest reason: equality among all living things. He jokes about “NCLB” but in fact does preach eloquently that no species may be left behind. In a world of continuously depleting biodiversity, his work does actually support the redevelopment of niches which could possibly grow our diversity levels. The development of these planned cities in China is going to leave the US looking like a normal country. Our lives consist of many destructive practices that need to change, but we tend to wait until disaster strikes before we do what we should have done in order to prevent the disaster in the first place. This project is proof of how we can and need to change. We should use less resource and material to create beautiful design.

Suzanne Lee

Designer Suzanne Lee shares her experiments in growing a kombucha-based material that can be used like fabric or vegetable leather to make clothing. The process is fascinating, the results are beautiful (though there’s still one minor drawback …) and the potential is simply stunning.

I know a research is carried out to develop organisms that can break down other feedstocks, but the mixture then contains by-products that slow down the fermentation process and it would probably not be possible to recycle it without expensive separation technology. She didn’t mention the environmental impact of sugar production. Because it’s a household product we take it for granted, but the production process is energy intensive and wasteful. I’d be surprised if the overall growth process, for example, using sugar as raw feed, could be more efficient than the production of cotton fibers. And we should change our relationship with material and nature, we also need to know the benefit about use technology with different materials, such as she put the technology and science into fashion field.

Janine Benyus

A self-proclaimed nature nerd, Janine Benyus’ concept of biomimicry has galvanized scientists, architects, designers and engineers into exploring new ways in which nature’s successes can inspire humanity.
It is useful to bear in mind that nature often overcomes problems by using redundancy on a massive scale. Sometimes this is often rejected by human designers as inefficient or uneconomic, because the organic design need more resources and economic to support. In my opinion,  nature often begins with very simple rules, we just need to catch  that inspiration and follow the rules, our design will be have more function. Furthermore, they gave the video a lot of credibility and they really inspired me. They made me realize that solutions may be very close to us.

Neri Oxman

Designer and architect Neri Oxman is leading the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies can interact with the biological world. Working at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, her lab is pioneering a new age of symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, our products and even our buildings.


Design is important because it takes the eyes of the designer to see the connection between nature and production. It lays the blueprint of newly envisioned systems and mechanisms. Without design, people would solely be focused on increasing output and efficiency, without much attention to the underlying foundation of their production. People happy to hear about a new technology or many are curious about the details of the applications. I think nature and design interplaying in a recyclable way that brings fantasy back to the idea of what it means to be modern.

Part 2

  1. Based on Video 1– Provide 2- 3 examples from your surrounding that need Cradle to Cradle (complete life cycle) intervention.
  2. Based on video 3– Provide 2-3 examples(include pictures you took not from the Internet!)from your surrounding of objects that their design reminds you motives/forms/shapes function from nature. Show images of the inspiration and your findings.
  3. Print the pictures and attached them (glue, tape) into your sketchbook to show in class or your laptop. I will not accept showing the images via cellphone


My project brick brush pot

“Green box”

Water bottle

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