Re-Eventing the Supermarket

STUDIO:  Design Futures
DESIGNER(S):  Jasmine Kassulke, Anna May, Phillip Poussart, Thomas Roohan
CLIENT:  Tony Fry

“Working on this project within a team of multidisciplinary design students was a pleasure and a challenge. We each had life experiences and unique perspectives which we brought to the project allowing us to thoroughly engage and reflect on our learning.” – Jasmine Kassulke

The project began with the premise that the supermarket as it currently exists is extremely defuturing. We were asked to explore this further and present a concept that aligned the supermarket and the community into a more sustainable relationship – physically, culturally, socially, environmentally and economically. We chose the West End community and one of their supermarkets as the basis of research for this assessment.

We began by researching food security, supermarket and market place history, design philosophy and the like, coming to the conclusion that the Supermarket as it currently exists encourages consumption, waste, unhealthy food choices and anti-social behaviour. It is an entity that attributes towards the de-skilling of consumers and staff and something that conceals the realities of the food production system in Australia. This is what the Supermarket designs and it affects the choices we make at home and in our lives.

To change the way the Supermarket acts upon the world and us requires more than designing new products or services. It requires the elimination of those things that negated the possibility of a viable future for all involved: customers, staff, farmers and shareholders. The criteria for elimination were specific and reduced or removed those items that encouraged waste, unhealthy eating and de-skilled users. Consideration was placed on the role the thing was playing and the implications of removing it. Once we had eliminated all these things, we had ample amount of space to bring in practices that encouraged cultural production but also replace those unsustainable items with those that re-skilled users, encouraged healthy eating, local produce and products, etc.

The new Supermarket is a gate way to alternative ways of being by reconnecting the consumer to food as a life sustaining entity. It gives supermarkets the opportunity to become more transparent in their involvement with local producers. Creating a haven for local and community connection will place the Supermarket in better social standing than ever before.

Read more about this project on the Design Futures course website.

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