Video of Product Design Lunch Tray Collaboration with Global Green

Lunch Tray - Field Research with Cafeteria Staff, PS 134, Chinatown

Students doing field research for lunch tray project. Image: Daniel Michalik

This video documents the third year product design studio led by Daniel Michalik in fall 2013 in partnership with Global Green and the New York City Department of Education. The brief was to redesign the school lunch trays given to public school students, who currently use and dispose of over 800,000 plastic foam (styrofoam) lunch trays every day. Students were challenged to design a tray that was both recyclable and compostable. Global Green helped to facilitate the project by connecting us to stakeholders at the Department of Education, recycling facilities, potential manufacturers, etc. In researching the project, students looked at the tray through many lenses, including usability studies, student observations and interviews, staff observation and interview, material experimentation, and costing. The class was divided into 4 design teams, each of whom developed a full design proposal and functional prototypes. In addition, the students synthesized the best of the four designed into a single tray design and submitted it to the subsequent public call for design proposals.