1. DIPLOMA PROJECT PROPOSAL
PUSHPI BAGCHI | VISUAL COMMUNICATION DESIGN
To design products that engage children to help them learn about the food they eat through
interactive and inclusive methods.
WHY SHOULD WE LEARN ABOUT FOOD?
Urban India is fast becoming spoilt for choice when it comes to the variety of food available to us in
our neighbourhood supermarkets, be it fresh, processed, or packaged. With couples finding
themselves short on cooking time, convenience foods are making their way into the homes of
middle class Indians. Children while accompanying their parents on grocery shopping trips, or at
home, begin to assimilate these food choices (whether healthy or not) from a very young age
without appreciating or understanding their implications.*
There is also a steady loss of traditional knowledge (E.g.: home remedies), values, and customs (E.g.:
eating meals in specific courses) attached to food and meal times. This maybe because they are no
longer passed on from parent to child, or perhaps because they are too time consuming and
outmoded to be practiced in this day and age.
However, food like air or water is one of the basic necessities of life. What we eat has a direct impact
on our bodies and I believe it is important to be aware of our food choices and eating habits. Eating
good food is one of the greatest joys in life, but how often do we pay attention to and appreciate
what we eat?
Good food = Good health and a good quality of life
Yet, the value and importance of food is being overlooked. Perhaps it is the constant and easy
availability or the loss of traditional values attached to food that is making us, and especially children
take it for granted.
*This has been proved by a test done in 2008 by a group of nutritionists, doctors and paediatricians
in the USA to examine food and beverage choices of preschool aged children.
We need to establish a new value system that encourages us to get involved with our food,
understand it’s importance, and appreciate its taste and worth.
To really understand something, one needs to be actively involved with it. To truly appreciate food,
we need to know where it comes from, how it’s cooked, what it tastes like, and what it does to our
bodies when we eat it. If we take ownership of what we eat, we are more likely to become
responsible about it, and realize the importance of making healthier food choices.
1 Pushpi Bagchi | Diploma Project Proposal
2. WHY START WITH YOUNG (3+ years) CHILDREN:
• Children of this age are inquisitive, receptive and open to learning about anything.
• Children should be encouraged to explore new foods and experience an array of food
flavours and texture. The younger they start the easier it is for them to appreciate and enjoy
what is handed to them.
• These are the formative years of life and what a child learns and discovers at this age can
make a significant impact and stay with him/her for life.
“Even if children have a better understanding at an older age- they also know that they can
choose to ignore things that they are being told. They can choose to not care about things.”
- Anisha Kashwani
Mother of 5 year old Aditya
(The above points have been made after doing research and talking to parents with children in
preschool or younger.)
• Conduct a series of interviews with Parents with children of ages 3+, and School teachers.
• Hold interactive workshops with children of ages 3+ to better understand their knowledge of
food and its importance, and recognize what helps them learn better.
• Identify key areas and spaces where children and parents can interact with each other and
involve themselves with food.
• Design products that educate and actively engage children to learn about the importance
and value of food in our everyday lives. To design these products using local, sustainable
• Conduct user tests with my target audience to check the usability and effectiveness of my
APPROACH / PROCESS
• Existing products, materials and methodologies that introduces children to food and
• Diet, eating habits and food trends in urban upper middle class households.
• Methods that parents use to teach their children about food.
• Understanding learning abilities of children between the ages of 3-8 years.
2 Pushpi Bagchi | Diploma Project Proposal
3. Facilitation & User Participation:
• Series of interviews with parents and primary school teachers.
• Participatory workshops, exercises and discussions with children to explore learning
• Understanding the needs of the target group (children as well as parents).
• Product User testing with parents, school teachers and children.
Product Conceptualization & Prototyping
• Spaces: Mallya Aditi International School, The Valley School (K.F.I)
• Toys & other Children’s products
• People: Children, Parents, Nannies & other Domestic Help, School teachers, Nutritionists,
Illustrators, Designers specialising in children’s products.
• Explore the role of design process in creating awareness and effecting change in everyday
• Use different materials and mediums to create educational products for children.
• Explore my capability as a visual communication designer to facilitate learning.
“Teach kids how to cook! Teach them where food comes from and what it tastes like. Encourage
them to explore the food world. And while we are at it, how about doing some things to change the
food environment to make it easier for parents to make healthier choices for their kids?”
- Marion Nestle
NYU Professor of Nutrition & author of Food Politics and What to Eat
3 Pushpi Bagchi | Diploma Project Proposal