I never really realized how much money was affecting the design world until this previous week of readings, research, and blogging. Of course I knew that money is involved through the purchase of products, the profit made by designers and so forth but I never thought of money as a drive negatively affecting sustainability. Ultimately the word that best fits this obsession is materialism. I also never really thought of myself as being materialistic but had quite a rude awakening after being reminded what my real need as a human are. As I look back I find myself buying things that I don't really need but simply want, replacing or adding things to my closet and to my home that were not necessary. Now I have also come to the conclusion that its not horrible to occasionally make a “want” purchase but the frequency or speed of participating in “want” buys are what can develop into an unhealthy materialistic behavior. The demanding speed at which we as consumers are wanting products is forcing producers to deliver products faster and in result use detrimental methods.
As a consumer learning this made me aware of what I am doing buying things I don't really need. This will make me give more thought to the products I buy and how I take care of my personal belongings, preserving items that I consider easily replaceable a little bit more. As a designer I know I can not control the demand and want of consumers but I am inspired to create products that can fulfill the need for new and change through products I design, like a pillow that had attachable and replaceable parts to update or switch up a look. Also other ideas might be interchangeable covers on candles to change and switch up for a small difference in ones home. As well as making easily modified products I would strive to use biodegradable or recyclable materials and sustainable methods of production. I may not be able to slow down the wants of consumers but I can try to help by making products that satisfy wants with a longer product life in value to users though these different methods. I believe that informing consumers about the issues we have learned this week, as well as the previous weeks, can make a difference even if it is a small one. If people were to realize how detrimental our actions are then it may create at least more thought in the almost subconscious actions they are making now. I know that my view have changed and have found myself looking in to what I by, what is in my product, if I really need a product, how I dispose of products and so forth. Some consumers may react in the way I have after learning some of the things I have and the way to spread this knowledge can start by telling consumers myself through word of mouth or through a informative tag on my product packaging.
I would like to expand my understanding and knowledge about consumer behavior in relation to what I have learned this week. I want to know how consumers think and why they purchase what they do. What influences and promotes a consumer to want more and new things. Through this knowledge I could have a better understanding of how to influence consumers towards sustainable products and practices.