From the start of Sustainable Lifetimes, I was very much interested with the topic. I liked the idea of sustainable design and as a practitioner I have always asked myself how to become more sustainable within my own practice. As a graphic designer I thought about of the possibility of creating sustainable designs and how can I inform it throughout my work. From the recycling of paper to energy consumption, ink and colour wastage to promoting the sustainability to other designers, and beginner designers and to the clients and businesses as well. The idea that designers waste so much of materials in the process of developing the work is clearly an issue there. However, the seminars have helped me to learn more about the sustainability and I have been given different perspectives regarding the theme. Being introduced to several theories and examples was a really eyes opening experience. At the seminars we have been taking part in group research and individual tasks where they have challenged us to think of different effects of sustainability. We have been presented different topics such as sustainable design, the ability to sustain, the origins of sustainability, objects lifetime where we have also done some hand on workshops as well. Also, we have talked about the different types of obsolescence and a brief history including videos and thesis of sustainable practices.
Overall, Sustainable Lifetimes gave me a deep insight into the theme and it helped me to understand the importance of a more sustainable life and it made sure to explain that well, Huw our tutor has helped us to understanding what sustainability really means through different topics and workshops by making us experience the sustainable design with our own eyes. After having an in-depth explanation of different topics regarding sustainability, I have also found very interesting the topic of planned obsolescence and the products lifespan. With the arrival of the new technology I always thought that newer generation of electronics must be better and improved in exchange for the older generation. I found it rather odd how electronics do not last longer than a year or two, so I was not sure how that is possible. Thus, I wanted to find out more as I could not understand why would electronics be designed to wear out after some time? I started to research into the theme in a broader manner. I started reading some online articles where they have talked about the issue in general, but it did not quite explain why it happens but rather just analysing it. I did not think it was enough to understand why and how it is possible, so I watched related documentaries as well where I have come across the word “monopolists”. Looking through the library I found out a bit about the business strategy of planned obsolescence, so I decided to study it further. However, having to write an essay I decided that I wanted to learn more about the planned obsolescence and the business strategy behind it, so I based my assignment around the planned obsolescence and object life time topic. I have then looked at articles and access the online archive where they provided me with journals and old articles surrounding the theme. As a result, I began writing about “The Notion Behind Shortening the Replacement Cycle and Object Lifespan”. In conclusion, sustainable lifetimes have helped me to identify and analyse the importance of recycling and sustainability. It has challenged me to understand and to see how sustainability can influence my practice and to see the truth behind big corporations finding ways to improve sales. Overall it was a good opportunity to learn about the topic of sustainable lifetimes. We then had the freedom to choose what we wanted to write about. I thought the issue of planned obsolescence it is a rather broad and a big problem right now especially with the mass production of electronics and the vast amount of e-waste being produced every year worldwide by the consumers there is definitely a concern regarding this issue.