caregiver . designer . engineer

Clear View Cooler

 

Clear View Cooler


Design Research

 
 

Reducing food waste by putting a new spin on the refrigerator

 
 
 

Human-centered approach to design

This project began as a class project focused on human-centered design research. My team chose to investigate how single young adults achieve satisfaction with their management of food, and what obstacles might prevent them from reaching satisfaction. After the project ended, I decided to design a refrigerator that resolved some of the issues we uncovered in our research.

 

skills used

- Ethnographic research
- Patent research

 
 
 
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Research

We conducted 8 in-home research interviews with single young adults to learn about their habits in meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, eating, and food storage. We assessed our findings to identify themes, pain points, tensions, and insights. We then defined several opportunity areas for design, and produced how might we statements for these opportunities.

 

Opportunity Areas

  • Prevent leftover ingredients

  • Inform users about the food in their possession

  • Remove guilt from the disposal of unwanted food

 

Design Direction

I decided to focus on ways to inform users about the food in their possession. The how might we’s that we developed as a team were:

How might we improve the visibility of food in storage?
How might we track the contents of a fridge/pantry remotely?
How might we improve access to food freshness information?

From there, I decided to design a refrigerator with improved visibility for its user, which provides remote access to information about the contents of the fridge.

 

Design

The refrigerator design is a work in progress. In the first iteration, I designed a cylindrical refrigerator with rotating platforms which allow the user to bring the contents in the back of the fridge to the front for better visibility. Rather than storage bins, for vegetables and the like, I added a rotating platform with storage bags hanging from it. Just above the storage bags is a stationary platform with room for tall items.

I am currently in the process of conducting secondary and primary research to identify value creation opportunities to consider for the design. Updates are coming soon, but feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more.