FoodLoop was an exhibit created for the International Beijing Design Week in the 798 Art District, with the mission of promoting a sustainable food future in China. The design challenge was to integrate organic food production, processing, consumption and recycling in a single urban space - engaging visitors in our vision for a healthier, green lifestyle.

Design Criteria

  • Low environmental impact
  • Modular & mobile
  • Functional integration
  • Memorable visual experience
  • Replicability & scalability

The Process

The goals of the exhibit were to “Raise Awareness”, “Engage & Inspire”, and “Empower". We planned a series of stations and activities using a visitor journey map and experience layout. A visual identity was designed to represent the new sustainable lifestyle: modern, simple, and organic. 17 infographics and a brochure were made to accompany the exhibit stations, in addition to educational workshops scheduled throughout the week.

The Results

The FoodLoop exhibit incorporated an urban farm and concept restaurant, designed to allow public interaction with every point of the food cycle. Stations included urban gardening, aquaponics, composting, and terra preta. Over 5000 visitors took part in the exhibit, learning about their ecological footprint and sustainable lifestyle alternatives.

Our team was honoured with the Beijing Design Week Sustainability Award.

The Team

  • Tsinghua University Art & Design Faculty
  • Beijing University of Technology Department of Industrial Design and Environmental Design 
  • X6 Architecture
  • Local organic farms (Shared Harvest and Little Donkey Farm)

My role

Experience design, visual design, workshop facilitation

1. exhibit planning

We began with an ideation workshop around the 3 goals of the exhibition: raise awareness, envision and inspire a sustainable lifestyle, and empower people to change their behaviour. The team identified several areas of opportunity, including the creation of a space for public discourse, tools to help visitors internalize the information, and ways to engage visitors post-exhibit.

We created a journey map for our main audience, families with young children, to determine the flow of information and activities. This was then translated onto a map of the physical space.

2. Branding

FoodLoop represents the sustainable cycle of food production, consumption, and recycling. I explored ways to convey this cyclical nature through typography and organic visual elements. 


3. Information design

Planning and creation of exhibit infographics.

4. the EXHIBIT

FoodLoop featured a diverse selection of local produce including bell peppers, artichokes, mung beans, and cabbage. These were donated by organic farms and planted in recycled crates with decomposable canvas bags lining for soil support. 

At the centre of the exhibit was The Vegan Pop-Up Restaurant. Ingredients were harvested directly from the exhibit, prepared on-site by our professional chef into a delicious organic vegan dish, and consumed by happy visitors in a seating area on the walkway.

Take-home pamphlets included infographics and practical steps towards urban farming. Workshops were held throughout the week, including sessions on desktop aquaponics, urban farming (vermicomposting, bee keeping, and sub-irrigation), pickling watermelon skin, terra preta, and DIY enzymes. On the last day, we hosted a self harvesting vegetable marketplace in which visitors could choose from produce throughout the exhibit.