Let's Talk Trash

A Space for Engaging Conversations around Consumption and Waste

An interactive activity space designed for the Daily Dump, a company that designs, manufactures and sells home composting units across India. The redesigned space, filled with interactive displays and educational activities, invites shoppers to engage in conversations around consumption and waste and provides a dynamic space for environmental programming.

Context

  • Collaborative project with Daily Dump CEO, Poonam Bir Kasturi and graphic design interns Simran Monga and Pragya Joshi
  • Bangalore, India, May 2013 - June 2013
  • My Role: Concept Development, Creative Direction, User Testing, Concept Iteration
  • Credit: Graphic Design by Poonam Bir Kasturi, Simran Monga and Pragya Joshi

project CONSTRAINTS

  • Additions needed to fit within existing space without obstructing movement of customers or employees.
  • Tone should be kept light and informative to invite engagement.
  • Interactive elements should both inform customers and encourage purchase and use of Daily Dump's home composting units.

Hands-on Learning

Inciting Reflection

One of the biggest challenges with disrupting cycles of consumption and waste is making people aware of the impact of their behavior. Moreover, getting people to notice and accept their participation in creating waste without triggering a defensive response requires great tact. And, once aware, people need small, actionable suggestions to incorporate change into their lives.

Be an Activist with you Wallet is a colorful store display that raises awareness about the impact of incidental waste from common product packaging. Props of common daily goods, positioned next to more waste-friendly choices, provide accessible ideas for reducing packaging waste. To supplement these suggestions, a Story of the Week incorporates these more positive choices into locally relevant stories to help viewers envision the easy changes they can make to reduce packaging waste.

 

Engaging Difficult Conversations

Games are a fun way to engage customers of all ages in difficult conversations about waste. Additionally, because environmental education in India occurs largely in schools, reaching children through games helps bring the waste conversation home. 

Sort Your Waste familiarizes shoppers with waste segregation, allowing them to practice sorting items into the proper bins. To further familiarize customers with the contents of their garbage, Guess the Contents asks shoppers to match unmarked bags with the correct hook based on weight. The goal of the activity is to impress users with the weight of organic waste (which in India constitutes 60% of trash by weight) to demonstrate the impact of composting on waste reduction.

 

Breaking Down Barriers

And finally, to combat the discomfort around interacting with organic waste, fun, cartoon-like illustrations and tactile props turn the seemingly formidable task of composting into something the whole family can enjoy. Rather than shy away from potential problems, the display includes a troubleshooting guide with easy fixes to the most common composting challenges. Compost at various stages of decomposition is shown in open containers so viewers can physically engage with the materials, eliminating the mystery and the "yuck" factor.