In 1992, the original USDA Food Pyramid was designed to make healthy eating easier for Americans. It was a pyramid-shaped diagram representing the optimal number of servings to be eaten each day from each of the basic food groups. It assumed that people were eating three meals a day and had the resources to access a variety of food in which they could make healthy choices.
The average student who lives on campus throws away 141 pounds of uneaten food annually. Considering the fact that one in six people in the country struggles to find their next meal, that kind of waste is staggering from a social, environmental and financial perspective.
For the Spring 2017 semester, Com 490: Sustainable Design students learned that sustainable design addresses the need for a “design backwards” approach that prioritizes an integration of a healthy people, healthy planet and healthy profit relationship. After hearing about the need for a Food Recovery Network chapter at SUNY POLY from Sodexo Manager, Deborah Hanson and her intern, Anirudh Bhardwaj, they choose Food Waste and Recovery as the topic for their final sustainable design project.
The American Institute of Graphic Arts states, "Design is a powerful conduit for change. As the messages, artifacts and experiences we create pass through the hands, minds, and hearts of people, we have an opportunity to weave sustainability into the broader fabric of culture and to shift consumption and lifestyle aspirations to a more sustainable basis for living.”
To inform and inspire the SUNY POLY community, a team of four students created a 6 foot by 6 foot re-interpreted food pyramid installation from cardboard boxes and metal cans re-used from the SUNY POLY campus dining centers. Through a re-use project, students examined how materials can be integrated into sustainable design while creating a layered message that informs, inspires and causes a proactive response by engaging viewers in a three dimensional installation.
The idea of food and shelter is literally woven together through food packaging design materials that create a three dimensional, architectural, cardboard “home”. It is further expanded on with a information design signage and graphics that explains the impact a student has on food recovery. By asking the audience, “Filled up?”, it addresses wasted food on a personal level, but also discusses the global impact of “ feeding a landfill", and conveys the hierarchy of food recovery for the people, planet and profit sustainable design relationship.
To inform and inspire the SUNY POLY community, a team of four students created a 6 foot by 6 foot re-interpreted food pyramid installation from cardboard boxes and metal cans re-used from the SUNY POLY campus dining centers. It addresses wasted food on a personal level, but also addresses the impact of food waste by conveying the hierarchy of food recovery for the people, planet and profit sustainable design relationship.