Theories and Predictions

Theories on Culture

Every culture has differences, as shown in Human, a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Each individual has their own needs, goals, and hardships. Proving we all have the ability to create, to preserve, and to evolve. However, vast economic inequality creates winners and losers. For the global South, the terms of the global market are not in the interests of preservation of humanity. Instead, as Emmanuel Wallerstein suggests, nations with lower gross domestic product are economically dependent on the top producing countries.

In many instances, Neocolonialism still holds a firm grasp on development efforts in poor countries. If we focused on localization and created trade networks through social media channels, societies could have the ability to focus on preserving their heritage through economic growth. There are various factors working against heritage preservation, but with the rise of the information age, one of the biggest factors is that heritage preservation efforts have almost no way of accumulating any capital. In terms of heritage arts, they simply cannot be produced without any demand.

Max Weber’s Theories

Max Weber spent his life analyzing capitalism. As he grew out of the industrial revolution, he had witnessed the aristocracies of his time, as he watched them be replaced by the bosses of the new capitalist economic system. He believed the spirit of capitalism was a direct result of Protestantism and Calvinism. He viewed followers of these religions as bearing an immense amount of shame, assuming anxious positions to please the judging eye of a silent monolith. Weber’s writings on the Protestant Work Ethic stated that Protestants value working hard as a way to please their god. This ideology translates into Protestants working continuously; earnest to prove their holiness.

Protestantism blend in Capitalism

Unlike Catholics, Protestants believed any profession could be holy. As long as it is done “in the name of God”, and with a lot of hard work. Weber viewed these ideologies, along with the Protestant belief that there are no miracles. The perfect concoction for capitalism to take root. Through hard work, and the absence of miracles, people began to rely more heavily on science. This led to breakthroughs in technology, which furthered industrialization and the ability to make more products faster. In time, this process created consumerism in humans. As well as climate degradation on the Earth. One can see an obvious path back to Weber’s analysis.

If Weber were alive today, he would undoubtedly argue against economic foreign aid. He would argue that economic capitalist intervention will never work in societies with traditionally different societal structures and religions. Could this be true? Research suggests societies without this inherent anxiousness, one may not adapt well to capitalism. In fact, societies dictated by any strict religious principles other than Protestantism, would probably not achieve capitalism with the same amount of economic “success”. However, in order to view the U.S. version of capitalism as successful, one must disregard the countless lives lost to the industrialization of peripheral countries.

Modern Take on Capitalism

In Thomas Piketty’s, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, he states, “Modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have made it possible to avoid the Marxist apocalypse but have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality—or in any case not as much as one might have imagined in the optimistic decades following World War II.”

I agree with this point about the diffusion of knowledge. In fact, without the internet completely changing the landscape of the global market, one could theorize that the downfall of capitalism would have already happened. Yet it will be our adaptability, and willingness to evolve, that will save or destroy nations on the brink of change.

What’s Next

Currently, our society can easily relate to the research and predictions of Marx and Weber. Marx offered a fair prediction of consumerism and it’s hold on society. Our proof he was right lies in the countless brawls of Black Friday sales, and the “fashion hauls” of white teenage girls on Youtube.com. However, the real question remains; how does this negatively effect our human qualities? Since it is proven that some people are so poor, all they have is money, is it too late to stop consuming?

 

 

“Frugality is founded on the principal that all riches have limits.”

-Edmund Burke

Preserving Heritage Arts in a Consumer Industry

Research

Kiowa Girl, portrait by Edward S. Curtis

Identity and cultural heritage are two topics I have been intrigued to research. I’ve wondered, how can we continue preserving our heritage in an ever-changing world? Especially, when it comes to fast fashion. I realized how relevant identity is after reading the work of Karl Marx. Although, not all of his predictions have played out yet, some striking evidence of his theories proved true in the film True Cost. The film made me think of my own career goals in the fashion industry. I want to create a way to equip designers and artisans in the developing world to be able to innovate and collaborate with one another.

I aspire to build an online platform for a designer showroom. It could be my way of preserving international artisans by displaying their work. Work in this field is already being done. Organizations like Social Tailor, retailers like People Tree, and a myriad of social media activists already are doing their part.

Then I realized, if we continue down this path of constant work, Weber’s Protestant Work Ethic, is aiding emerging designers in developing countries actually helping or hindering their society? Which internal faults has our society developed due to capitalism, consumerism, and the fetishism of commodities? What affects have consumerism had on our society? If Marx was right about the consumerism, how should social entrepreneurs respond?

I love researching heritage and the preservation of indigenous designs. Many of my career goals are fashion focused, which is why cultural heritage intrigues me. Thus, researching why and how to promote preservation ideals furthers a deeper understanding of my personal goals. Historically, clothing has been worn as a symbol of identity, which is why I chose to focus my research on historic costume.

Photographer in the West

In the early 1900s, photographer Edward S. Curtis created a commercial photography project highlighting the importance on Native American heritage rituals and costume. Curtis said, “The passing of every old man or woman means the passing of some tradition, some knowledge of sacred rites possessed by no other. Consequently the information that is to be gathered, for the benefit of future generations, respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost for all time.”

Curtis was urged to capture on film the great life of Native Americans, because his research predicted their severe loss of heritage. His photographs served as a small way of preserving the Native American lifestyle. Efforts like this happen all over the world, but the driving factor in heritage preservation is the sense of loss. Humans want to remember their history because it gives them a sense of belonging. If we cannot remember our history, we risk repeating our mistakes.

Consulting in Toluca

During my undergraduate experience, I consulted with a heritage fashion start-up in Toluca, Mexico. I enrolled in Arizona State University’s Global Impact Entrepreneurship program, which is dedicated to furthering innovations for the developing world. So I had the opportunity for a consulting role. My goal was to brainstorm with designers. They needed better streams of revenue, in order to preserve their work. So I provided the designers with a business plan, as well as a global marketing strategy.

I met some awesome people, who introduced me to historical crafting techniques. They created intricate embroidery. I learned about culture, while focusing on design. I presented marketing strategies to create economic value from their handcrafts. Consulting with the start-up partners was exciting. Each day was intriguing, which motivated me. I believe preserving cultural heritage is crucial. So we created designs that were respectful of their history. During my time in Toluca I gained experience in leadership. I was in charge of managing our prototyping and product development. In addition, I grew in my cross-cultural communication skills. It was a grand experience.

 

Heritage Garments

Technological advancements will help secure our collective culture. In Toluca, I was intrigued by the complex patterns the designers made. Mexican culture greatly inspires me. The designers used bright colors. The colors captivated me. Each family had their own motifs. They employed motifs directly from nature. Some designs were flowers. Others were animals or plants. All designs had historical meaning. They were very detailed. I interviewed several designers, who had been embroidering for decades. It was so exciting to learn about them.

It is difficult to preserve handcrafts, due to lack of economic scalability. Often times, the youth do not wish to learn traditional crafts. Traditional garments take a long time to create, because they are always handmade. Most have been preserved by word of mouth. In the future, I believe technology can be used to help preserve them. In essence, we must employ technological advances to preserve our collective past. Being part of ASU Skysong provided me with international business experience. Culture and fashion have always blended in Allisonland. This project thrilled me, because it combined my favorite research topics. If you want to learn more about the project, click here.

Below, I model traditional festival garments.

 

 

 

 

Naturopathy

Origins of the Naturopathy Lifestyle

Drawing of Hippocrates

Naturopathy research began 2400 years ago. It can be traced to Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, who was an ancient Greek physician. Hippocrates believed in the healing power of nature. Around the globe, naturopathy still remains at the heart of modern medicine. Although our technology has improved, our species still relies on nature. Although many think of health or science when they hear about naturopathy, it can be a lifestyle as well.

 

Laws of Naturopathy

  1. Humans are a composite of spirit, mind and body.
  2. The spirit of a human is senior to their mind, which is senior to their body.
  3. The spirit alone may heal the mind and body.
    1. The mind by itself cannot heal itself, and requires effort on the part of the spirit.
  4. All disease (spiritual, mental or physical) is stoppage, which is brought on by stress.
  5. All disease is curable.
    1. Although all disease is curable, some people are not. In humans, there exists negative and positive energy.
    2. Many people wish to survive.
    3. Some people wish to succumb.
    4. Those who wish to survive feel they must support those who wish to succumb, which can negatively impact them.
    5. Those who wish to succumb benefit from those who wish to survive. They do not return any benefits.
  6. A state of optimum health is positive, as well as the natural order of existence.
    1. A diseased condition is the responsibility of, and created by, the individual self. This is negative.
  7. Achieve optimum health and balance:
    1. Ethical conduct.
    2. Education, with the idea of improving one’s existence and the survival of others as well.
    3. Managing one’s self with high-quality nutrition.
    4. Consistently exercising the body, including the connection of the mind.
    5. A sufficient rest schedule.
  8. Ethics means “surviving optimally for the good of all”. An ethical person not only survives, but also actively contributes to the optimum survival of all of mankind. They must take responsibility for all humans.
  9. An ethical person concerns themselves with the ecological welfare of the planet.

Learn more about the science of natural benefits by visiting Stone Naturopathic and signing up for their monthly blog!

“Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” (Hippocrates)

Nature’s Guide to Beauty

I’ve always been inspired by the way humans take design from nature. Almost everything we create, we have borrowed from our Mother Earth, often forgetting to give credit where credit is due. For my entire life, I have never been able to shut my eyes to our planet. I’ve had some of the most romantic experiences being at peace with our world and breathing it all in. Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks make up one of my favorite areas of the world. That’s why my fiancé and I have decided to celebrate our wedding in the area. Last Spring we were scouting out secluded locations, where we stumbled upon Jenny Lake Lodge. The lodge and campsite are nestled into the looming mountains creating an intimate, yet ominous feeling.

 

Amangani Resort and Spa

We also stopped by Amangani, a resort and spa, just a few minutes outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We’d love to have our ceremony facing the mountains, while we celebrate in a grand ball theme of the 1900s style. Being united together while being at one with nature is our goal. We liked the open air patio in the back with a view stretching out over the grand mountain range. Although we liked Jenny Lake Lodge’s seclusion and forested atmosphere, the draw of the Amangani resort is clear. We imagined a royal atmosphere, with towering flowers and smooth Glen Miller songs.

Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus:

We found this little fox on the drive through Glacier National Park. Naturally, we named him George. We rolled up right as he was pouncing on a mouse. We felt a little bad for the little guy, but that is nature. Lunch!

Hana’s Secrets

Hana: Maui’s Favorite Road

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The islands are isolated from other lands. They must take extra precautions with invasive species and ecological threats. The National Park Service in Hawaii work to preserve the islands for generations to come. They are especially aware of the history of the land. Originally, each island was divided into sections. Accordingly, this is how they can best be preserved. Ancient conservation practices are particular to each region. Hawaiians are good stewards of the islands, which is why the Hawaiian islands remain a tourist destination. Learn more about the National Park Service in Haleakalā and plan your visit here: https://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm

Once upon a time, we took a spontaneous trip to Maui to camp in Hana. The East side of the island is less touristy. You’ll find more campers, than honeymooners. For us, it was the beginning of a new journey together. First, we decided to hike in the Haleakalā National Park on the East side of the Island. For millions of years, the rains from the forest trickled down the mountain, creating this gulch and small valley. Small pools tucked into the rocks, bring together the elements of life. We climbed near a small pool and waterfall. From on top of the waterfall, the view was incredible. We stood above a gorge, which stretched out to the Pacific.

We looked out towards the ocean, while I thought about my love for nature. I felt at peace with the Earth, because there was a private tranquility to this place. It resonated in my heart. My dear love has understood this part of my soul, which I did not know myself for a long time. He understands my need to be unified with our planet, so it was here where he proposed!

Naxos: Cycladic Ancestors

Naxos – An Ancient Island

In the Spring of 2015, I checked off a line item on my bucket list. Visiting the island of Naxos, Greece, had long been a goal of mine.  I first learned of the quaint island, while studying design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I was inspired by the exceptional sophistication of the female forms. Seeing the Cycladic figurines became an aspiration.

The Cycladic culture peaked between 3300-1100 BCE, but the civilization mysteriously disappeared during the Greek Dark Ages. Apparently, the ancient civilization crafted millions of these tiny figurines. Accordingly, they were experts at the techniques and skill in their design. They were able to create strikingly advanced statues with the smallest of details. Some mysteries still remain of the ancient culture, who valued intricate detail so diligently.

on Naxos