Mobile Market

How can a local community be more connected to produce and the people 
who grow it?


Large portions of Cincinnati do not have access to fresh produce.


Design a mini-retail space to enable growers to connect to communites.


Local Benchmarking
To start this project, I wanted to see the best experience for buying produce. In Cincinnati, that meant a trip to the local foodie's heaven, Findlay Market. This is as close to the ideal experience as currently exists. Numerous local farmers gather in one place to sell their produce directly to local customers. People build relationships over time, and are able to learn about the food they eat from the people who pulled it from the dirt.

Secondary Research
After observing the interactions and spaces at Findlay Market, I looked elsewhere to see how food purchasing experiences were being redefined. My researched spanned from tips to making an attractive Farmer's Market stall to communities using school buses packed with produce as ways to combat food deserts.

With a problem as large as communities' access to food, I didn't want to fall into the trap of trying to reinvent the entire system of food delivery. I summarized my research findings into a few guiding statements:


Going Broad
After researching issues around access to food, I began to visualize different approaches to have an impact. The sketches ranged from redesigning aspects of the Farmers market stall itself to reimagining the entire experience of buying local food. At this stage in the process, I focused more on seeing the different directions then narrowing down to one specific direction.

Narrowing the Approach
After early ideation, I was left with dozens of different design directions to improve availablilty of produce. The concepts that were most interesting to people were ones that envisioned a new experience of finding and buying produce. Instead of designing an add on to a Farmers' market stall, I focused on pop-up retail spaces that could prototype this new experience.


Learning to Fail Fast
After deciding on a concept to pursue, I needed to start to imagine how to make this new experience feel real. I researched food trucks, shipping container architecture, graphic design for markets/foods to see how the Farmers Market experience could be refreshed and mobile. I started to make rough cardboard prototypes and 3d models to see what the different layouts for a mobile market could be.

Graphic and Material Design

Creating a welcoming space for people to buy produce requires thoughtful decision making in terms of materials, colors and messaging. I explored ways to make a industrial looking shipping container appear exciting, approachable and natural.

Bringing It All Together

After spending three months researching and designing the Mobile Market Concept, I needed to create visuals and models that told the story of this experience.

storyboard 1

Sherry works at a local school and rarely has time to cook.

storyboard 2

One day, she sees the mobile market in the school's parking lot.

storyboard 3

The kale at the stall looks especially appetizing and fresh.

storyboard 4

She buys the Kale and learns some tips from the farmer working the stall.

storyboard 5

She gets home and checks out the hand picked recipies on her receipt.

storyboard 6

She adds the Kale to a quick salad she would never have had without the mobile market!

After spending three months researching and designing the Mobile Market Concept, I needed to create visuals and models that told the story of this experience.