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Research Proposal On The Future of Food Industry
In a Board Game Like Application

Recycling will not slow down our material and energy consumption. Time for a slimmer perspective and for different designs. With the project Value Futures we investigated how to push the lifespan of products within the food industry , challenging the addiction for the new and bending economic models. With this project we designed a system in the form of a board game with which the users can interact and be actively involved  to predict and plan for the long lasting future of a product. We thought  this subject could be attractive in order to predict and plan for the long lasting future of a industrial product also because is intrinsically influencing a large variety of topics: supply chain, brand identity, cultural heritage but also business and many others. For instance, have you ever wondered what could happens in case of dramatic population growth in terms of food foraging? Outlining this project we tried to answer to this an many other questions.


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We decide to look at the food industry as the main theme of our project because we think is congenitally linked to human life. We thought that the food subject could be fascinating because is a necessary element for life and for human survival but is also a product influenced by the rules of time: is a vital element but is also subjected to degradation, like industrial products are in a higher range of time. The application of the design research into a product is translated in a board game project with which the user can interact and predict the future of a food-related product. The game invite the users to think and develop future scenarios. We start this project wondering how the product value will mutate in relation to change in temporal contexts and in respect of economic, environmental, social and technological biggest global risks, that could be predictable but also surprising.  More precisely we respect a time range that goes from year 2028 to year 2068, analysing each decade.



To begin place the game board on the table with all its components. Each player selects one scenario and takes the corresponding pawn. The game is composed by five different scenarios: Social Media, Culture, Food Trends, Law and Licenses, Business. There may be a maximum of two players fro each scenario for a maximum of ten players. The game takes place in six different timing phases, consisting of a decade each : from 2018 until 2068. To each timing phase corresponds a world danger than can be of different type between economic, social, technological, environmental and geopolitical. Time phases and dangers crate the game route. The quality rating system we decided to adopt in our board game goes from Very Poor Value to Excellent Value in a 0 to 10 points scale. The features we are considering are 5 and for each feature the product can get from 0 to 2 points. With the value rating the users are led to compete each other in order to get more points possible. The features we chose for value the product are the capability to adapt over dangers and receive proper interventions, the durability over time, aesthetic and style, the capability to offer social service and at the end business performance.


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Value in business markets is the worth in monetary terms of the technical, economic, service, and social benefits a customer receives in exchange for the price it pays for a market offering. We decide to rate the product value in base of certain priority features that a quality product should possess in the determined business and social contexts.The global dangers we chose in relation to the years refers to four different types : environmental, social, technological and economic.  Each analysis refer to a specific field, around which we built a scenario. The field-scenarios we chose are five: Social Media, Culture, Law & Licenses, Food Trend and Business Model. The scenarios for each field shall include a biography about the product, that develops decade by decade in positive or negative ways and accomplishes a specific value in relation to the dangers which affect each decade and to the consequent interventions we apply for each case. The project was presented in two different museum in the Netherlands: Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. This picture shows the presentation during the Thursday Night Live at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam . The exhibition was opened by the director of the museum and was featuring a discussion with design critic Ed van Hinte, Psychological Determinants of Economic Decision Making professor Wilco van Dijk, journalist and philosopher Merel Kamp, design researcher Marcel den Hollander, design critic Alice Twemlow.


After a general research on the determined field of food and its trends, we decide to choose a food-related product that could well summaries the complex reality behind the food supply chain: cultures, technological innovations, transportation, brand, location. We eventually picked the food truck because of its dual core: the technical part of a large vehicle mixed to the sentimental part of regional foods from all kind of cultures, a small kitchen inside, but the valuable outside space of the street in which customers can enjoy the food, symbol of different cultures and lifestyle but often recognisable from a strong brand identity. We thought to pick the general “essence” of the food truck instead of a particular one, that could properly translate our visions about the future in specific fields into tangible scenarios, eventually rated with different values. Beside the event at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam the project was presented at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam during the bi-monthly live magazine Design Matters Special the 11th June 2018.

Value Futures - Design Research: Portfolio
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