Sustainable Design - Research through Design


Presented at

Ars Electronica 2018 (Austria, Linz)
RTD 2019 Conference - Research Through Design (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
London Design Festival 2019 (London, UK)

What makes a fridge smart ?

This project is a low-tech counterpart smarter than any connected fridges because the users are the ones making it smart. It aims to install open-access fridges in small communities (ex: a building) for anyone to put food items before they go to waste and where anyone can take it.


The fridge’s goals are fighting food waste by creating social link and bringing the community closer. It comes with two physical objects created to start the conversation and a digital groupchat to give the community a free space to continue the discussion.


This project was created during my Interaction Design Communication MA course in London. It includes research through design methods but also was my first focus on a practice I've been more and more interested about : sustainable design.

The Process

Methods such as interviews, mapping and more importantly fridge and users shadowing helped in drawing a holistic picture of the social and cultural aspects and focusing on the individuals cognitive functions. While the first observational and ethnographic part enabled to gain a better understanding of the actors, problematics, goals and theories of such an object, the empathic design interventions prepared me to consider what could be in the fridge users practices and daily routine.

Through objects design iterations the community of users guided me into defining the problematics and challenges raised by an open-access fridge and how to develop the best products or services that match their practices, use of the fridge, needs and preferences.