SHARE: Interactive food packaging

Product design research and development exploring social eating.

It has been shown that social interaction at mealtimes has benefits on overall mental and physical health. How is it possible to increase this type of interaction in our increasingly fast-paced society — one where eating alone and eating quickly is often the norm? The SHARE project evolved from a dissertation written on whether product design can impact a more sustainable food culture.

Requiring at least two people to open, SHARE is food packaging that facilitates a collaborative eating experience. Three different types of boxes play on equal and opposite forces to open them, making it necessary to do with more than one person.

Designed for a specialty cafe environment, the SHARE packages are washable and reusable. The food inside is served in small modular dishes that are interchangeable between boxes.

The project commenced with ethnographic research, isolating diminishing social interaction during mealtimes as an opportunity for design intervention.

Small social experiments were carried out exploring different methods of communications, including broadcasting and leaving messages, among others.

The most simple and effective way to engage others is by asking for their help, and it was observed that physical tasks with an element of fun created a more lively atmosphere and worked well to ‘break the ice’. Concept testing in situ provided inspiration for packaging that requires more than one person to open.

Starting with paper folding to explore forms and mechanisms, the design evolved to reusable materials. The final boxes used opening methods inspired by the mechanics of four equal and opposite forces.

SHARE food packaging makes eating more sociable and fun!