Problem statement: How can we educate customers about where their food comes from and how it was produced through the design of the GRIT grocery food truck?
Members: Kajal Patel, Dominique Devlin, Emily Lisa, Emma Wu, Tian Udomsak
Clients: Kelly and Dustin Windham
Time: Spring 2016
A community's relationships to food varies worldwide. Kelly and Dustin became inspired by a local farmer’s market food experience in Azerbaijan, where people built a personal relationship with each other through buying local food in a community. Back home in Houston, they decided to create Houston’s first mobile grocery store to bring locally grown or sourced products to the neighborhood and educate Houstonians on sustainable food practice.
As a team, we initially identified three areas of challenge that we wanted to tackle: 1) Educate Houstonians about differences between foods types and values 2) Design the exterior and interior of the grocery space in a way that enhance vendor-customer interaction and community development, 3) Promote Grit Grocery in a way that speaks to everyone since food is a personal and individualistic experience.
Creating a Problem Statement
Keeping the three areas of challenge in mind, we visited Grit Grocery in person and conducted some preliminary evaluation of the food truck by doing basic measurements etc. Then, we realized that the scope of the project was very big and it would be better if we focus on one area of challenge to effectively help our clients. Therefore, we narrowed down to the educational component and refined our “how-can-we” statement into: How can we educate customers about where their food comes from and how it was produced through the design of the GRIT grocery food truck?
Research and Design
To achieve our goal of the project, we conducted research on grocery store, farmer’s market, international food markets, as well as grocery food trucks. In addition, we visited a farmer’s market for first-hand experience with food truck layout and vendor-customer interaction. After drawing inspiration from the visit and communicating our vision of the project with Dustin and Kelly, we decided to design a labeling system that educates customers about local, organic, natural, seasonal, wild-caught, and cage-free food. Our DFA team handed the clients a "recommendation package" with a summary of the study-- problem identification, research, and suggestions for design.