Unmissable Food Organisation

Unmissable Food Organisation (U.F.O) was a social initiative created by designer and recent BA Design graduate, Sarah Boot. The project was part of Sarah’s third year modules, supported by Inspiring Futures, where students were given the opportunity to work with an external organisation to address the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) brief: “How might we reimagine common spaces to build diverse communities through food?”.

Sarah’s unique design and innovative concept, with positive social action at its heart, went on to be named as one of three winners of the prestigious RSA Award, winning her £500 and an impressive award to add to her CV.

Unmissable Food Organisation CAD evolution
Unmissable Food Organisation sketch evolution
Unmissable Food Organisation Model

What is U.F.O?

The Unmissable Food Organisation concept involved the use of a fleet of food trailers to tackle ‘Holiday Hunger’ for school children; a serious issue that sees children go without access to nutritious food and stimulating activity outside of term time. Tackling such a rife social issue sounds like a huge undertaking for one student. However, armed with her passion for design, social change and with the expertise gained throughout her degree at her fingertips, Sarah was confident in her ability to foster change through design.

Sarah’s time working on this project saw her producing not only a 1:5 scale model of her “U.F.O” shaped food trailers using complex design software, but also creating an operations system in which the trailers could raise money to sustain themselves as a charity.

Nourishing the Community

The U.F.O project wasn’t just designed to educate children on the importance and processes of preparing nutritious food, it was also created as a system that could harbour a sense of community, using good food as a common ground. It was vital to Sarah that her project forged a safe and social space for children to interact and play - a simple joy that isn’t always guaranteed for all children.

U.F.O proposed to offer three main benefits to the communities it served

  • Nourishment - Children provided with free, healthy and balanced meals to combat Holiday Hunger.
  • Education - Children involved with meal preparation and given healthy recipe cards to be taken home and recreated as a family.
  • Activity - Trailers situated in green spaces, allowing children to engage with the outdoors and take part in physical games and activities.

“I worked with Diversity Business Incubator Plymouth (DBI) to finalise a design and a system that would allow mutually beneficial use of the food trailers for both charities and food vendors. I had a couple of meetings with their CEO Jabo Butera who told me about his company’s philosophies and how I could design to be in line with them."

Sarah Boot, BA Design Graduate

Sarah and Jabo Butera - UFO Project

Collaboration with local industry experts

Through the project, Sarah had the opportunity to collaborate with Diversity Business Incubator Plymouth (DBI), where she had access to the expertise of CEO Jabo Butera, who has helped many food vendors and start-ups come to fruition. The knowledge and experience Jabo was able to share with Sarah around market research and business was vital.

Having this external feedback informed and refined Sarah’s project. Having heard about the successes of other local start-ups, Sarah was able to recognise the potential her design had, not only to succeed during module-based learning but additionally to galvanise change in the wider community.

Innovative design has the potential to create genuine, positive change to the lives of real people and being privy to this has only enthused Sarah’s own drive to succeed, opening her prospects for the future.

“This was the first project I did where I worked on a brief with external feedback. It was such a helpful experience that I try and make sure I get outside feedback and advice in every project.” – Sarah Boot, BA Design Graduate

Enriching future opportunities

The U.F.O project allowed Sarah to develop an innovative idea that had real potential to battle wider social issues. Additionally, through this project Sarah has had the opportunity to work on her own professional portfolio and have one-to-one discussions with industry experts. All whilst developing valuable skills which will prepare her for life after graduation.

“The project helped me learn how to work on a bigger scale both with the physical design and the idea of looking at tackling a largescale problem. I also feel the experience helped me improve my interviewing techniques when it came to my final presentation to the panel of judges.” - Sarah Boot, BA Design Graduate

Since completing this project, Sarah has gone on to study on the MA Design course at the University of Plymouth.

This case study was written by Keiran Potter, a University of Plymouth student. Connect with Keiran on LinkedIn.

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