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Mead After 5 - Research & Design

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  • Mead After 5
    How can you reconnect the university student to a typically K-12 brand?
  • This project was a design research studio sponsored by Mead Westvaco.

    Corresponding directly with Mead representatives, students were asked to develop creative solutions to help bridge the gap between high school and collegiate Mead consumers.

    As group After 5, we took a unique approach to Mead's problem, diving deep into the the life of what a post secondary student experiences before, during, and after typical academic hours. Group members headed into the challenge with a common agreement: The academic school day is only a small fraction of the college experience.
  • As a small group, we brainstormed potential areas of exploration concerning life outside of the college classroom.
  • Our breakthrough came from reviewing Mead's website. We realized students in college were also first time home managers, and decided a collaboration of the two could yield interesting opportunity gaps.
  • Unlike high school students, college students are signing leases, cooking their own meals, and learning how to manage a household and deal with roommates for the first time.
  • Our four initial categories of exploration.
  • Initial interviews explored a diverse range of university life - from sorority presidents and first time apartment renters, to university area landlords and freshman living in dorms.
  • Insights from our interviews were collected, bucketed, and used to generate directed questions for an online survey.
  • From our survey, we learned that mail and storage of important documents were less of a pain point, and that focus should shift to helping students manage their money and their life with roommates. 
  • Experience maps were documented - from the tracking of students' movements and spending throughout campus, to the process one undergoes to pay a utility bill amongst roommates - all in efforts to find more specific opportunity gaps.

  • After 5's developing war room.
  • Photos of inspiration filled the walls - from inspiring workplaces, to graphic elements and trends.
  • We developed our own brainstorming technique, combining keywords describing Mead, cohabitation, money management, and college social life to challenge ourselves to create outside-of-the-box solutions.
  • All product and marketing concepts were sketched and pinned to boards (and windows).
  • Specific concepts were developed further, ranging from playful to serious.
  • One concept served as a reminder for a friend to pay back a small loan our I.O.U., by ink traveling along a paper timeline.
  • Other concepts dealt with laundry and time management, including these dual functioning change holder/timers.
  • With feedback from Mead representatives, final concepts focused on money saving techniques for the constantly mobile and traveling college student.
  • The After 5 Lunchbook

    Students have leftovers...they just forget about them.

    The money saving activity of packing a lunch is an inconsistent one for the college student and therefore easily forgot about. Students aren't packing lunches consistently due to the social and time saving benefits of dining out and fast food.

    The After 5 Lunchbook serves as a more sophisticated lunchbox, far form the childish aesthetics of paper bags and nylon sacks. It is made of Gore-Tex with plastic board inserts.

  • How it works

    What students do remember are their books.

    With the After 5 Lunchbook, a student's lunch becomes just another textbook in their bags. Inspired by old leather textbooks, the Lunchbook easily slides into existing backpacks amongst books and stationary, saving students countless dollars on their dining out off-days.
  • The After 5 Doppbook

    College students continually lose and replace simple toiletries. They take frequent overnight trips, often times misplacing personal items between destinations due to informal storage techniques.

    The After 5 Doppbook serves as a storage system for personal items, saving both money and frustration for the on-the-go student.
  • How it works

    What students need is a permanent, yet portable storage solution.

    Also mimicking a book, the After 5 Doppbook gets seamlessly integrated into a student's bag. Most importantly, it serves as its own cabinetry by propping itself open and standing to provide easy access on shelves and counter tops, never having to be unpacked or repacked.
  • Mead After 5 was developed in collaboration with Rachael Stefanussen, Drew Forseth, and Melissa Chavez during a University of Cincinnati Studio sponsored by Mead Westvaco. Concept ideas were developed together, but all sketches and renderings shown are work of Patrick Yovanov. After 5 logo designed by Melissa Chavez.

    Group After 5 won the Mead studio's highest student scholarships for their performance.