Dissertation Reflection

To kick start the process of this dissertation I decided to choose a topic that I consider important and interesting. This was because for someone who is perhaps considered more creative than academic I needed to choose a topic that I was going to be able to remain interested in and be able to write 8-10 thousand words on. The proposal I completed last year helped me for the preparation in the understanding of destruction through design however since the beginning of my dissertation, I found that I needed something more to focus on than just whether destruction in design was inevitable, as I found out pretty quickly it was inevitable. Luckily, I chose a broad topic like sustainability that allowed me to still focus on destruction within design but take another avenue of destruction within design.

However equally finding that because sustainability and the position of the environment has loads of possible routes, it made it a lot harder for me to pin point what the problem was and how to solve it, asking myself questions that I knew I was never going to have an answer for, which made the idea of a completed dissertation seem almost impossible. However, to address this problem I looked into both the consumer and designer to understand who is to blame for destruction within design. Knowing that I am both a consumer and designer I could create a good understanding of both. This helped me narrow down the possibilities and outcomes of this research paper and to a certain extent make it easier as I was able to relate.

However, the struggle I had was that there always seemed to be a balanced argument, again making it hard for me to conclude who was to blame for destruction within design. But as my journey continued I found that there were a lot more factors than just the consumer and the designer to sustainability. At the beginning when taking on the understanding of both the consumer and designer, I was convinced that the consumer was to blame, because of a consumer’s lifestyle consumption feeding into capitalism. But through my research I was able to conclude that no singular person was to blame and that the sustainability of the environment is something everyone needs to work on together. My ideas had changed and I began to consider the solutions for sustainable design rather than concluding who was to blame and found that this was a lot more successful by finding a potential answers to the solution rather than putting the blame on someone.

At times in writing my dissertation I found it very easy to get side tracked and would begin a discussion about another topic that is relevant to sustainability, but was not necessarily relevant to textiles or to finding out who is to blame and the solution to sustainability. Equally opening my eyes but I needed to stay focused. So, because of this I made sure I planned and organised myself, keeping strict lists of what was needed to focus on in each chapter. This worked well and it by following this structure of organising it left me more than enough time to edit my dissertation.

My trip to Morocco in my field project last year, inspired me by the use of natural and traditional processes in textiles. This primary research has allowed me to relate this into my dissertation, through this inspiration I was able to introduce the case study of natural dyes, and used this as evidence of how we are evolving and becoming more sustainable designers. My trip to Morocco also allowed me to think globally and think outside the box in design, I was able to understand the differences in design in a western culture, allowing me to apply this first-hand research to the importance of creating and understanding an attachment in design for the result of sustainability.

The research into destruction through design has most defiantly influenced the way I will work in my discipline; I must be able to follow every ethical and sustainable step to ensure what has been created can be justified and hold a place within society. I have always been keen to include purpose and meaning into my designing, but since this dissertation it is vital I continue to incorporate this mentality because I will create an attachment with design, creating awareness.  What has changed in the way I design are my ideologies, through this research paper I began to consider the materials that surrounded me. I am able to include meaning into my design and create an awareness. Yet, I need to consider the materials that already exist to make a difference as well as create an awareness to become sustainable in design. Learning that textiles does not just stop at fabrics, textiles extends to food, papers and plastics.

I have learnt that this topic of sustainability cannot be limited to just my textiles practice and design. The ideologies that flow within this dissertation can be applied to everyday life, whether a designer or consumer. Critical thinking and analysing the habits that we all have, have an impact on the sustainability of the environment helping to limit the destruction and problems we face.

Amongst worrying, I overall have enjoyed the writing of my dissertation. I have opened myself up to so many new possibilities that I can relate to and apply my dissertation ideologies to. I have put myself in the position to debate about climate change and capitalism. Firstly, I found this daunting but to then realise I have a huge interest in to this, a lot more than I thought I did. I believe this is an achievement, to be able to spark debates and conversations with fury and passion, you are able to create an attachment and that in itself allows development in myself but also a development and change in designing. To have a sustainable environment is the end goal and my designing and ethics can contribute to this.


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