Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Kate McCauley

A global food crisis is developing far faster than climate change. With the population predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050, we will have to grow more food in the next 40 years than in the previous 8000 years. In addition, food from supermarkets can travel thousands of miles and sit in many cooling fridges before it reaches your plate, all the while losing important nutrients and causing carbon emissions. To address these issues, a massive shift from consumer to producer is needed.

The Coop empowers urban residents to grow their own nutritious and delicious food close to home in shipping container micro-farms. By harnessing solar energy, aeroponic and hydroponic technology, users can grow food 365 days a year in a simple, more productive, and non-labor-intensive way whilst using 95% less water than a traditional farm. Located around the city in underused urban spaces, members can rent plots in the farms near them and grow a wide variety of produce such as leafy veg, rooted veg, vine fruit, citrus fruit, honey, and eggs themselves.

A key point for my design was that it should not have the imagery of a traditional farm. Instead, I wanted it to be fun, fresh, and contemporary. As one is growing food within a steel container, I wanted the design to have a sense of simplicity, trustworthiness, transparency, and a scientific approach as well. As such, the visual language is a blend of authoritative type, technical icons, and bold, colourful graphic food. The Website and the container exterior inform the public about The Coop farms and how they work whilst the app reminds members of tasks and helps monitor their plants, poultry, and bee’s individual needs.

I enjoy branding, image making, way-finding, experiential design and UI/UX and always strive to create meaningful, sustainable and impactful design solutions. Dissertation Title: Head In the Clouds – the marketing of e-cigarettes to young adults.