Sustainability Wayforming: Producing at The New School
New School students have many talents - from design, to performance, to critical analysis - and they put these skills to use, producing a huge variety of things from clothing and product models to operas and plays, from sociological studies to policy proposals.The production process, no matter what it looks like, is an opportunity to exercise sustainable practices - that's why we marked producing spaces on the Sustainability Wayforming map.In spaces like the new Making Center, and other Parsons studios, the opportunities are two-fold:
- Consider materiality: What are the environmental impacts of the materials you are using? Are they recycled? Can they be recycled when they are done? How are you disposing of excess material? Can you pass it on to another student to keep it out of a landfill?
- Consider the message your design sends. Does your creation encourage others to think about their own relationship to the environment? Does it help people live a more sustainable life? Does it make a political statement?
In spaces like the libraries and computer labs, actions can be as important as thoughts:
- As you write a policy paper or research a social phenomenon, consider ways that environment and sustainability may be tied to the issue you are examining. For example, what are the consequences for personal place-based identity if local policies allow that place to be polluted? Or how can we leverage an understanding of human psychology to encourage higher recycling rates on campus?
- Study mindfully. If you must print, use both sides of the page to avoid wasting paper. Unplug your laptop once it's fully charged (that little green light is still using energy). Study or read using natural light if possible, and you'll be helping reduce The New School's greenhouse gas emissions.
No matter what you produce this year, sustainability can be a part of you process. Looking for more tips on how to produce sustainably? Follow #SustainableTNS on twitter, or email us to ask for more specific ideas!