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
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