Designing the Space for Local Food: How Design Can Support Local Food Systems

By Michael Peterson.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online September 10, 2015 $US5.00

This paper explores the motivations and challenges of participation in local food systems. Whereas industrial food systems remove the ability for consumers and producers to know each other and communicate, local food systems offer the opportunity for connection, especially when food is exchanged between producers and consumers directly. While the time required by direct sales often becomes a barrier, sales through an intermediary can increase the accessibility and convenience of local foods. Two precedents for intermediary sales are reviewed: the Saskatoon Farmers' Market's Little Market Store, a producer-managed store that extended the availability of farmers' market products beyond market days, and Discovery Organics, a British Columbia-based produce wholesaler. Building from these precedents, this paper suggests possibilities for the design of a service to support local food consumers and producers in connecting and communicating, both directly and through stores.

Keywords: Local Food, Direct Sales, Farmers' Markets, Service Design, Systems Design, Interaction Design

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 9, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.27-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online September 10, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 725.033KB)).

Michael Peterson

Master's Student, Design, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC, Canada