The Future of Food Retail: Social and Experiential Factors in the Future of Grocery Shopping
Since fall 2012, I have taught Design Research studios that are the result of a sponsorship and collaboration with a major food retailer. We have taught the following studios thus far:
Fall 2012 – The Future of the C-Store
Spring 2013 – The Future of the Urban Grocery
Fall 2013 – The Future of Digital Grocery (co-taught with Assistant Professor Edson Cabalfin)
Spring 2014 – The Future of Small Format Grocery
In each of these studios, architecture students from the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design are working directly with the Head of Design for the Food Retailer and I with consultation from many others in the Food Retail industry and others. In each studio, we are traveling to different cities to explore other projects that may influence the future of food retail. The students explore intensive research on trends and potential future scenarios. They study the program and operations for grocery in different formats and locations and they develop conceptually-based, innovative proposals that are intended to spark dialogue within the food retail community.
Products of the studios include a public presentation at Artworks (a local non-profit in downtown Cincinnati), a book that combines all of the research and the design proposals, and in the Digital Food Retail studio the students also created videos to communicate their design ideas.
The results have been incredibly inspiring and provocative for all involved.