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Design Thesis Project

I am currently working on a two semester long thesis project for my Industrial Design degree.

For my thesis project I want to create a travel set of containers for tea and food that fulfills practical needs without sacrificing emotional desires.

There is a lack of objects for eating and drinking that effectively combine practicality with a rich emotional narrative.There is a community of women, the Lolita community, who particularly value emotional narratives in the objects they use. These women find their needs are not met by the objects they use for eating and drinking at social gatherings because they are either practical with no emotional narrative, or have a rich narrative but are impractical.

Right now I am focusing on containers for food. I'll be addressing containers for carrying tea and liquids next semester.

When bringing food to picnics and meetups we usually end up using cheap plastic containers. They are not attractive, but they are functional and easy to transport and it's not a big deal if you lose them. I want to create an alternative that is more beautiful and fits into the context of a Lolita meetup.

The main material I have been researching is paper. Paper pulp can be cast in a mold and can be made waterproof with the addition of resins and waxes. It has a much more attractive texture and feel than plastics, but like plastics it is light and cheap to produce. Paper pulp is the basis of many biodegradable and sustainable products.

The main quality that makes plastic superior to paper for carrying food is that it can be washed and used again. I will attempt to mitigate this factor through paper liners and such, but paper containers will essentially be single-use if used for anything wetter or messier than cookies.

My question for you is: would you be interested in using containers that are temporary and disposable to bring food like cookies or cupcakes to a picnic or meetup if they were beautiful?
If not, what would you prefer?

Project Blog:
This blog includes my research and updates about my project.

Image Research:
My Tumblr mostly includes pictures of existing products, modern and historical, related to my project.

If anyone has any thoughts on the project I would love to hear them. :)


Nov. 30th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
For me I bring my picnic basket with glass and reusable plates. The environment is important for me and though biodegradable things are wonder, I rather just reuse something. If I were to bring food for lots of people I would bring it into a plastic container.

I think maybe the people that are here and wanted more of narrative to their items as you say end up buying something they can reuse. This can be because they cannot find something that can fit what they are looking for in disposable or want the plate or whatever to have its own story. Example: This is the cup set I take with me to all my picnic and just looking at them reminds me of lovely picnics.

Also.. I can’t help but think if someone really wanted a disposable paper plate that was really pretty they could easily find some already. I know that there is a gift store in my town that sells brand paper plates that are very nice. Also a quick search on the internet and I found lots plates that would look nice and in several designs.

After thinking….I now want my plastic ware to look pretty! They’re just clear with blue lids.