Project #16525 - Economics of Sustainable Design

“When was the last time you bought ugly fruit or vegetables? A misshapen cucumber, a deformed carrot, or a discolored zucchini? You probably have a hard time remembering because these sorts of ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables are screened and thrown away before they reach the supermarket’s shelves to ensure customers see only fruits and vegetables with perfect (or near perfect) shape, size, and color. The result is that we have a wasteful food system – in the UK, for example, according to the Soil Association, 20-40 percent of produce is rejected because it’s misshapen.”

(Triple Pundit, September 13, 2013 - http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/09/business-case-selling-ugly-fruit-vegetables/)

Your challenge in this assignment is to figure out how to make ugly fruits and vegetables a viable and profitable part of the food system. In other words, you need to provide a proposition how these fruits and vegetables can end up in people’s plates rather in landfills. Please note that it should be a business proposition, meaning that you can’t just make the case for sending these fruits and vegetables to the nearest food bank (here’s one example for such a business proposition - http://culinarymisfits.de/).

Please try to embed design thinking elements in your proposition, such as reframing the problem, observation and prototyping).

Your reply should present your proposition and include the following elements:

1. Explanation of the problem.

2. Detailed description of your offered solution, including: what’s the opportunity you identified, what is your idea, how it addresses the problem exactly, why do you think there’s a market for it, how feasible it is, how do you envision the implementation of your idea, why do you think it can become a viable business, can it be scaled up, and so on.

3. Explain in detail the design thinking elements (such as reframing the problem, observation and prototyping) you used in your ideation process or will be using in the implementation of the idea, if you actually had the chance do it. Also, please explain if your proposition was influenced or inspired by a sustainable design approach (for example cradle to cradle, eco-efficiency, design for reuse).

4. From a systematic point of view - are there any changes in the food system that you’d need to see to make this solution happen (for example, if you have in mind processing these fruits and vegetables you need to take into consideration that “most large processors have advanced contracts with suppliers and often require specific attributes that make the product amenable to processing” -http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf)?

Your assignment should not exceed 1,500 words. Submit online via the blackboard/ Assignments before class. Files should be titled according to the following convention: lastname.firstname.assign3.pdf 

Subject General
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/12/2013 11:00 am
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