Green Hands

Collaborative Project in Chengdu, China

Int. Council of Design X Chengdu University of TechnologyRavensbourne

Date
Sep 2017
Role
Conceptualization
Research
Prototyping
Rendering
Project Type
Design Research
Product Design
Design Thinking
Featured
Reuters
[Aug 2021]
Design Brief

Green Hands is a collaborative project, based in China. Challenging the ‘Original Equipment Manufacturing’ concept, we worked towards designing a range of user-centred products with a distinct design language. 

Stakeholders

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Approach

My group focused on the interconnectivity of digital learning and cooking in the kitchen.

Project Outcome

Cutting Board Container System

The main piece of our series is a chopping board with interlocking containers. The aim of this product is to provide a simpler and more organized cooking experience. The chopping board comes with different size containers so the user can distinguish between the different ingredients.

Measuring Dish

Following the design language of the cutting board system, the measuring dish provides a clean and elegant way to precisely follow the recipe. The length of the dish spans from 1/2 a tsp all the way to 2tbsp.

Device stand & Digital Learning

The cooking tools are paired with a device stand to make learning through digital recipes as easy as possible. We discovered through our research that following online receipts is the most common way of cooking amongst young people.

The cutout at the back of the Device stand allows the user to attach it on a hanging rack, which is commonly found in student and graduate kitchens.

Design Language

The ecosystem of products aims to provide a seamless cooking experience tailored to the cultural needs and habits of young adults. Coupled with the simple but coherent design language it truly encourages young adults to experiment and learn in the kitchen.

Research

User & Insights

Through our primary and secondary research, we discovered that in the Chinese culture young adults tend to lack cooking skills once they graduate. Consequentially, they consume a lot of takeaway food, which was both unhealthy and unsustainable. Looking at a 2014 report we can see that students consume the most takeaway compared to other groups.

  • Age: 22-28
  • Working professional
  • Living without parents
  • Interested in a healthier lifestyle / interested in cooking
  • In control of household purchases

Process

Sketching and Prototyping

We worked through multiple rounds of sketching and prototyping to refine our ideas and develop a coherent visual language throughout all of the products. Also, we had to ensure the mechanics of our models were accurate as our final designs were forwarded to a local manufacturer to be built out of solid ABS.

Collaboration

Collaborating with foreign design students was probably the most valuable learning from this project. Language proved to be a significant barrier, so the team's approach was to use visual elements in every step of the process. This approach helped us communicate better amongst the team and produced balanced and fruitful collaboration.

Presentation

We had the opportunity to present our research and final design to manufacturers and government officials at the end of the project. Our work and prototypes were also exhibited in various exhibitions in China and Europe by Ico-D in the following weeks.

Reflection

This experience was an insightful view on how cultural differences translate into the design world and how we, as global designers, need to learn to respect them and consider them in our process.

Interested to know more?