Product Design: Food Waste Invention

This had something to do with pizza. I remember thinking it was an excellent idea.

It’s been a minute. I haven’t blogged in almost 2 years. In that time I moved halfway across the world to a wonderful new school where I teach Design. It’s awesome. My blog was also changed a bunch, which is… not awesome. I’ll need to take some time to figure out where everything went.

New year, new unit. I’m teaching product design this year and I needed a short unit to help students refamiliarize themselves with the design process we use at ISB. Enter; my mother in law.

This summer she attended a day-long session at Central Michigan University and part of that time was at a session with their STEM program. She shared their challenge with me and I thought it was awesome, so I stole it.

The Nitty Gritty. The idea is this; students pair up and share a list of their favorite foods with one another. From there, they consider what might ruin that experience; a puddle of “juice” at the bottom of your spaghetti, the bottom portion of your french fries getting cold before you get to them, etc. Then, you create an invention that solves your partners problem. I framed this through the lens of eliminating food waste, which is a huge issue globally but especially here in China.

We ran through the design cycle quick and it was fun. Students interviewed their “clients,” sketched out some ideas, created a prototype, met with their clients for feedback, addressed that feedback while improving their invention, then ran through Sonya Terborg’s awesome Ladder of Feedback.

What I’d change. This was just a reintroduction unit, so the purpose here isn’t a deep dive into Design. However, I want to keep tinkering with the Ladder activity. The way I’m presenting it right now isn’t awesome though, and I want (need?) to iron that out.

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