Type of work: Service design / porposed service for Camden Council
Date: November - December 2014
Extent of the project: 6 weeks, full-time
Food waste is a problem of immense dimensions. In Camden (the London Borough) alone, households throw away 1720 tons per month, which equals one olympic sized swimming pool full of food that is not eaten. Uneaten is a new service that targets the problem of people throwing uneaten food away because they forget to keep track of the food they store at home. With uneaten, the information of the food you buy is automatically stored on your device, along with respective expiry dates. It sends you reminders when specific items are about to expire, and gives you the option of looking for ingredients, giving the item away, or finding friends with matching ingredients to cook with.
Uneaten is a group project, developed in collaboration with Hangil Song, Andrea Fischer, and Yuljae Lee.
One of the key insights we gained from our research was that people are unaware of the monetary value of the food they waste, i.e. they don’t know how much money they literally throw in the bin. Uneaten enables this type of self-monitoring, and also lets you track your recycling rate. One of the key touchpoints we identified in the journey was storing and emptying the food recycling bin. Thus we also proposed a redesigned bin and container that makes storing food waste feel more hygienic.
Besides from spending quite some time with the local people in different areas of Camden, we also distributed a one-week food diary (cultural probe); asking people to record what they ate and threw away each day with the help of a camera. Furthermore, we set up a stall in Queen’s Crescent market for a weekend to have a chat with people from demographically diverse backgrounds. A food-chain — from manifacturing to landfill — helped us understand the different stakeholders and challenges that involve both production, consumption and recycling of food.