MOBILIZE: WHEN SOUP KITCHENS HAVE WANDERLUST
Mobilize was an independent industrial design studio project undertaken during the summer of 2012. As a designer I have always been fascinated by the idea of collaboration between design and social action and this project proved to be an excellent exploration. This was also my first experience with industrial design. The project, and the Savannah Workforce Development research project shared much of the same research data and methodologies.
With this project I was very interested in the concept of mobile food systems and understanding how a distribution system could be applied to the Savannah area. To narrow the focus, I specifically examined Savannah’s Victorian and Historic districts which contain high pockets of poverty. My research focused on understanding Savannah’s poverty issues and why these areas were highly congested. Secondly, the research examined all brick and mortar food facilities and food deserts within the city. Other areas of research focused on understanding the demographics within Savannah’s poverty stricken areas and looking for antecedent mobile food systems that have been implemented in other cities.
During the design phase, I explored a variety of different ideas from inflatable structures to pop-up stores. However, based on design constraints and financial limits, the concept chosen was a modified trailer. Designing the object was only one step toward the project final, I wanted to understand the touchpoints of the service, design its functionality and interactions, and define the brand. While I am no industrial designer, this project gave me the opportunity to build not only an industrial concept but its brand and services.
Christine Miller, PhD