Redesign of Campus Center Café Trash Cans

Time: 4:24

IDP 316 - [Critical] Design Thinking Studio
Deep Dive #3
Tiejin Zhang

When our clients approached us, asking for a redesign of the trash cans in the Campus Center Café, we were really excited! All of us had used the units before and knew how badly they needed a remodel. We immediately tackled the structural problems of the current system – hole size, illogical compartments, poor flow – and used the insights that we gained in fixing these problems in our future prototypes. Once these foundational elements were understood, we put on our Design Thinking caps and started to think big! We toyed with lots of crazy ideas, and ultimately designed a system that would incorporate elements of fun while still working toward the larger missions of sustainability put forth by our clients. We wanted to remove the anxiety that is caused by the current system by designing a unit whose flow was intuitive to the users, while still asking them to be mindful about where their trash goes once it leaves their hands. We tackled this challenge by bringing sustainability to the forefront of our prototype by designing the unit in the shape of a tree and incorporating a system that incentivizes good behavior through tree planting. Our users responded well to this element and we plan to move forward with this idea in the next iteration of our prototype, which will be built this summer and hopefully will be implemented in the café by next semester.