OUTDOOR FOOD GEAR

School project in the 1st year of Industrial Design, Academy of Art University, California|Role: Research, concept, prototype|Year: Feb-March 2018

Project context: The assignment was to redesign portable eating utensils for a specific target group.

After looking at possible user groups, I chose the outdoor market as the one to go with. It interested me the most because of the constraints that designing for this group entails. 

The users I decided on: Outdoor people doing multiple activities (e.g., kayaking, climbing, hiking) that require a lot of equipment but who have to pack light and as little as possible. 

Summary

Carry light, cook easy, store safe. Reuse always—The all in one outdoor food gear

During product and user research I uncovered various issues: 

- outdoor food gear products are often not made with sustainable materials or when they are, their durability and reusability is reduced,

- it's difficult to find products that are not bulky or heavy and can be easily stored during and after the trip,

- often different products for different types of food,

- the products are often not really nice.

 

Therefore I had these goals: 1) find sustainable, durable materials, and 2) make the product easy to transport, durable, 3) suitable for all kinds of food, and 4) a product that feels like "real" tableware.

 

I ended up making a bag that can be used to store and heat food, with a top lid which can be removed and also functions as a cutting board and/or plate. It comes with an additional bear-proof storage bag. 

 

The material for the bag is either platinum silicone or Dyneema. Platinum silicone will be heavier, while Dyneema would be for users where each gram / ounce counts. The lid can be chosen either of sustainably sourced bamboo or stainless steel. The bear-proof storage bag is made from Dyneema. 

Problems which I uncovered during the exploratory interviews were:

 

  • Often heavy and/or bulky products

  • Not all products are durable or reusable

  • Often not made with sustainable materials

  • Often different products for different types of food

  • The utensils aren't the problem

  • The containers are the problem

  • Many products not easily stored during and/or after the trip

  • Often not a "nice" or "real" eating experience.

Insights and design specs that the uncovered challenges lead me to:

  • Low in weight

  • Compact

  • Durability, reusability

  • Sustainability, no waste

  • Hot  and cold, for different types of food

  • Easy storage and access, during and after the trip

  • Looks nice, feel of “real” tableware

More about this project coming soon

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