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. 

Tools used: Woodworking tools, vacuum forming machine, sewing machine

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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