Mary Stewart
Mary Stewart

Fed Up Food

 

Food waste is a huge global problem and this year the Royal Student Awards prompted designers across the UK to do something about it. Over 12 weeks, alongside my two teammates, Fed Up Food was born.


 
 
 

The Challenge


 

In 2011, the British Waste and Resources Action Programme calculated that the average carbon footprint of avoidable household food waste is approximately equal to 330 kg CO2 equivalent per person per year. We began by asking why this was happening.

 

Through consumer interviews, observational research in the home and surveys we noticed a disconnect in people's minds between food waste and environmental impact. 

 

Many opportunities for lasting change rests in changing consumer attitudes. With this in mind, we changed the question from, “how do we make people waste less?” to, “how do we make people care more, so that they waste less?”

We saw this environmental knowledge gap as an opportunity to make people care more about the food they waste, by raising awareness of what it takes to get food from the farm to the fridge.

 

The Approach

Ideation Rules: Be Open. Iterate Quickly. Embrace Failure.

With our design challenge framed, we drew up dozens of ideas as a team, developing and refining them over time. We storyboarded select experiences, iterating on them until we got the idea right.

From there we worked using agile methodology, performing weekly sprints, constantly aligning our work with the goals of the project. With game development fairly new to us as a team, the iterative nature of agile made a lot of sense. We built from the ground up, creating an MVP quickly, and refining from there.

 

Vision

It’s easy to throw away that lonely tomato that’s abandoned at the back of the fridge.

Tom's Journey highlights that it's not just a tomato that's wasted, it's all the energy of getting there too.

Aimed at families with young children, we set out to create an interactive story told through the eyes of Tom the tomato, to introduce the topic of food waste and it’s environmental impact in a humorous way. 

 

Production

Design - Modelling - Texturing - Lighting - Animation

Throughout the story the player is encouraged to save Tom the Tomato in short, interactive games. Aimed at families with young children, the scenes are full of colour with no hard edges and plenty of soft lighting. To achieve this finish I baked ambient occlusion and lights in Maya into painted textures created in Photoshop, and finally applied them to FBX models in Unity 3D.

 
 

Storytelling

To communicate Tom’s story, I wrote a series of short poems to introduce each level. These acted as instructional pieces to guide the player through the chapters, as well as emphasising the environmental impact of the food production cycle.

 

Delivery

Fed Up Food was designed as part of an integrated campaign, supported by outdoor advertisements and additional merchandise.