Studio ABD, 2011    12 Weeks •   Individual Project

Design Brief

While interning at Studio ABD, I worked for the chain restaurant company: Just Mehfil. The project had multiple design deliverables, ranging from developing  a eco-friendly food packaging, a bicycle for home delivery to a mobile food retail kiosk (human powered).

Product Lifecycle

I visited the kitchen and the retail outlets to understand how the food is prepared, packed, sorted, dispatched, received, stored, heated, served and finally consumed. This macro look helped understand how the system works and to figure out all possible intervention areas.

Understanding the Brand

The brand study reveled that Just Mehfil wanted their product, the food, to be authentic while the experience around the food to be modern and sustainable.

The User

The target users for the mobile food retail kiosk were identified as young, office going people, college students and families getting out for recreational purposes. Areas that the mobile kiosk would target is offices, tech parks, colleges areas during lunch hours and outside malls, parks, promenades or at public spaces during events and gatherings.

Packaging Objectives

Two type of packages - To redesign the eat in pack in a more sustainable material and generate new concepts for the take out family pack. The packaging should take into consideration aspects like food temperature, employee interaction and customer experience. It should look absolutely novel, nothing like anything one has seen before.

Deliverable 1A: Eat In Packaging

The most popular dish served at the restaurant is biryani (hot and spicy meat rice) and raita (a side dish made with yogurt and vegetables). We explore the possibility of using banana leaves and arecanut (betel nut leaves). Both these materials, apart from being completely natural are traditionally used to add nutrients and flavor to the hot food served in it. The traditional materials are given a contemporary look with its presentation, for the customer to have a novel experience unwrapping the food.

Deliverable 1B: Take Out Packaging

The paper box holds arecnut bowls with the food sealed in foil bags so one can eat comfortable from the box. The banana leaf texture is mimicked to keep in consistency with the eat in pack. Below is a prototype followed by the final design.

Deliverable 2: Family Size Take Out Box

Different dimensions in the needed volume were prototyped to see which proportion looks best, is the most stackable and doesn’t waste space in the delivery backpack. Graphics were developed by the graphics team and a paper model was made with the final dimensions to see what the box would look like. Technical drawings were made by the new product development team to get a manufacturing quote and a sample.

The tin box below was finalized for the family pack. It’s an unusual food packing material and thus a conversation starter. The tin boxes are reusable and will become a collectable item.

Deliverable 3: Home Delivery Bicycle

After visiting vendors and discussing the purpose (home delivery), the user (delivery boys) and the budget of the bicycle, the BSA Photon was selected.

The concepts below explore elements inspired from the existing visual language added on the bicycle to increase brand visibility.

Deliverable 4: Mobile Kiosk for Street Retail

The mobile kiosk picks up ready food from the kitchen and serves it on the streets. 

Inspiration-boards for the different elements (hygiene, branding visibility, shade and storage) articulated in the design brief of the human powered mobile kiosk.

Numerous forms and ideas were explored to meet the design brief. After considering ergonomic factors and volume constraints rough dimensions were finalized and all forms were developed with in those parameters.

The final from with ergonomic and volume metric dimensions.

The frame is made from powder-coated extruded aluminium tubes and synthetic wicker is used for the facade. This combination works well as it makes the vehicle:

  • Light weight
  • Porous (won't resisit air)
  • Water repelent (won't retain rain water)
  • UV stabilizers protect the fabric from dry rotting in the sun
  • Polypropylene yarn that withstands fading
  • No staining (from food)
  • Low maintenance

The drawers are made vertical with removable baskets to contain the ready food packs. The user doesn't have to bend much and all the contents are accessible at once, allowing them to serve multiple customer at the same time. Once contents in the top most basket run out, it can be replace with a full basket from under it.

Click through to see the complete documentation of the project.