A graduation project to improve the acceptation of insects as food. A multicultural exploration into the meaning of eating insects, led to a theoretical framework supported by a collection of products.

Context Variation by Design | Design Thinking | Food Design | Multi-cultural | User centric Research and Design | Explorative Research | Co-creation | Literature research | Base of the Pyramid |Experimental Research


Brief

The goal of a graduation project is to show knowledge of all phases of the design process, knowledge of the methodology as taught during the master of Design for Interaction, and an individual and independent working attitude.

The goal of my project was: to design a product or product service combination, which contributes to increasing (multi-contextual) insect consumption by improving the acceptation (by improving the meaning and understanding) of insects as ingredients, in the Netherlands as well as in Thailand.

This contributes to reaching more potential of insects as ingredients in the Netherlands as well as in Thailand and Cambodia.


Result

The products offer customers a chance to – in their own way and their own speed – explore the endless possibilities of insects as ingredients. The product line consists of a tapas package, raw ingredients, a breeding bowl, a packaging wrap, and an information flyer explaining more about the products and their connection to Asia.

The packaging wrap is added to include any existing cookbook, to create a clear link with the Asian context, and to create unity between the products.



Process

This project started with the creation of a clear goal and planning. The silver lining of this project is the Context Variation by Design-approach (Kersten, Cruz, Diehl and Van Engelen, 2015), with the most important characteristic of designing for more than one context.

The first phase of the project is a thorough literature study, with the main result that the target-group is treated as group and not a set of individuals. Resulting in the second phase: active research studies with groups. These studies were executed first in the Netherlands, and later during a three month travel through Thailand and Cambodia. In Asia, the focus was to study the contexts concerning their food culture, the consumption of insects in specific, and the acceptation of the consumption of insects.

Back in the Netherlands, all results were clustered. These were combined with an interview with the start-up company (Essento Food AG) in Switzerland specialised in producing insects as food. The results created a starting point for creative idea generation sessions and individual brainstorm sessions. As support, several extra context analysis were executed resulting in inspiring collages and a better understanding of the context of the specific target group.

The final result is a product package aimed at the LOHAS (Lifestyle of Food and Sustainability) in the Netherlands. As well as travellers in Asia who live in various places for a longer time and could be characterised very similar to the LOHAS in the Netherlands.


Impression of the project

Final designs


Ideation phase


Research in the Netherlands


Research in Thailand


Research in Cambodia