- Food Informer
Providing crucial information about food and enhancing the grocery shopping experience
- This is a fourth year major project;the goal of this project is to develop a product that would solve a problem we might encounter in the future. I’ve pick to deal with the problem in food because I believe that most of the design problems are centered around people’s essential needs.
- The Future of Food
Our current food system has a lot of problems from production to consumption.Issues such as poor distribution, over centralized food production control, GMOcrops, subsidized farming, unbalanced diet, food contamination, etc. all can beconsidered hazardous to our survival. However due to the lack of involvement infood from a consumer's standpoint, most of us simply don't realize that thereare problems.
The Food Informer doesnot provide the ultimate solution to all these problems we're facing - it issimply too arrogant to say that it solves all of them. Instead, Food Informerprovides the ability for the public to know, the knowledge about food in whichall of us could utilize as a tool to solve all the problems. Sure,some of us right now might not even care about the information about food or knowing the process of food production. But the future population with highstandards in a better quality of life, with better awareness about problemshumanity is facing would care, and will most definitely need these informationprovided by Food Informer. Once the population gains the knowledge, they become the real change, the real solution to the problem.
- Early Concepts
This project startedoff with a very extensive research phase in which I searched for possibleproblems humanity might face in the near future particularly in our foodsystem. Originally I thought a suitable solution to the problems would be providing the food information into reusable containers brought by the users in a bulk food environment. However this approach was still strongly constrained by the infrastructure which is hard to change without a major overhaul in technology, government policies, etc. Thus, from an industrial design point of view the best solution would be transforming the purpose of packaging (which provides information about food) into a product. This would be a physical device, a device that allows interaction with all food.
- Early on the design was a tablet in which had all the functions I wanted, however it was still far from being a refined product. The tablet approach did not take enough into consideration with regards to ergonomics.
- User TestingThis is a very important design phase which identified issues with my design and provided a lot of insights which improved Food Informer in the later stages. Multiple test models were made and put on test subject which goes through a use cycle of their shopping experience.
- Final DesignThe user testing helped me concentrate on the aspects of Food Informer that needed tweaking. This resulted in a final design consideration with more work-like models being made. Features that were uncertain before became clear and thought through. The Food Informer at this phase is the closest to what I had in mind for a design solution the the problems in our food system.
- Design Presentation
In order to introducethe product clearly, I've made a video for Food Informer key lining itsimportant features. I believe that a video presentation is much for suitable asa communication tool for this project than traditional media due to the natureof its futuristic characteristic. The board was used at the graduation show ofindustrial design at Carleton University.