Post B

As part of our assessment 2a, we were given a brief to design an organic bin liner using newspaper for the caddie waste bin. Our group consisted of 6 designers from different design disciplines like fashion, product, visual communication. In order to begin the task, it was very important to understand the strengths of each person in the group so we created a group charter that underlined personal characteristics and values that each person could offer to the group. The group charter also stated the ground rules and timelines while breaking up the project into different parts in order to complete it successfully by the deadline.

At this point, it was clear that with different skill sets we had different perspectives to approach the brief. Some of the ideas were analytical and problem solving based while others focussed on how information could be simplified in order to target maximum amount of people.Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 4.37.13 pm

Each group member contributed their past individual experiences and ideas related to organic waste management. These ideas varied from each other as we all approached the brief through the perspective of our respective disciplines. As for my input as a visual communication student, I live in student housing and previously conducted a food waste audit that helped me understand how my waste was being managed. I learnt through surveying food disposal habits of students living within UTS housing and realised that there was lack of knowledge about the process from purchasing to disposing waste. In order to change the behaviour of people, I believed that information needed to be prominent everywhere (for example:- signage) and laid out in the simplest form so everyone could understand it.

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Key elements of collaboration of design disciplines

  • Motivation
  • Communication
  • Diversity
  • Sharing
  • Support
  • Problem Solving & Design thinking

It is important to include designers in the management of organic waste since designers create a mode of interaction and user experience within the system and the people in order to successfully make it function.  Designers help in the unification of multiple pieces of information through research and understanding. They further, package and simplify this information in order to make it easily accessible.

Systems and Design complement one another. A system aims at being holistic by following a method whereby the understanding of a system starts from the apparent issue and widens the system’s boundary by expanding the circle to include other factors that may not be so apparent but have an influence on, and are connected to it. This way, the “whole” system and the relationships are identified prior to modelling the system and finding ways of improving the system to and moving  towards a more desired outcome. 

Design on the other hand, is more empathetic and human centered and requires the modeler to be inside the problem and design the solution after having walked in the shoes of the affected as opposed to being an expert who is invited to come in and help identify  and improve on the problematic situation.

Therefore, Combining System thinking and Design thinking has the potential of improving on the holistic understanding of the current system as stakeholders have the opportunity to view the system from different angles. This has the potential to generate more informed ideas to transform the system with a more holistic view. An approach that combines the two would therefore be more holistic, empathetic and innovative.


Collopy F (2009)
Szulanski, F. (2010). Synergies Between Design thinking and Systems Thinking. 


Food Waste Audit : POST A


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Food waste is a very serious problem in today’s society and as human population continues to increase, the amount of food production and waste significantly increases simultaneously. In 2013, a research was conducted by the Australian Environmental Department and it was estimated that food waste cost Australian households more than $8 billion each year.  This waste causes environmental damage as it produces large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions..

In order to effectively understand food waste, I conducted a waste audit for one day of my own daily meals. I chose Sunday for this waste audit as I have a busy lifestyle on the weekdays and do not have the time to cook anything other than my breakfast. The following is a breakup of my meal plan for Sunday:- 


  1. 10:00 AM – Protein Power, Milk, Bananas, Frozen Berries, Peanut Butter and Honey
  1. 11:00 AM – Eggs, Coriander & Butter Toast
  2. 12:00 PM – Juice – Beetroot, Celery, Apple, Watermelon, Mint


  1. 1:30 PM – Beans, Rice, Tomatoes, Onions, Cumin Seeds, Bay leaves, Lebanese Bread
  2. 4:00 PM – Pasta, Chicken Breast, Cream, Pesto Sauce, Tomatoes, Onions, Mushrooms
  3. 5:30 PM – Coffee, Sugar, Milk, Paper Cup


  1. 8:30 PM – Pasta, Bolognese Sauce, Chicken Breasts
  2. 10:30 PM –  Ice popsicles

Waste Produced – Waste- Banana peels, Small bits of Berries stuck to blender, Honey & Peanut butter bits at the bottom, thin coating of milk on the sides, Egg shells, Egg Yellow base, Some stale coriander leaves, juice pulp leftover, little rice, onion peels, cumin seeds stuck to rice, bay leaves are thrown since they are just added for flavour, tomato juice while cutting, Pesto sauce stuck to plate, Coffee cup, Plastic from Ice popsicles and other packaging.

Solution for Waste  – Most of the waste produced by me is organic and cannot be reused. The scraps of a sum of all my meals are mainly shells, peels and vegetable leftovers. I cannot further use these leftovers so I usually create two different bins:- organics & packing/plastics. As a resident of UTS:HOUSING, we have two chutes for waste disposal, one consists of recyclables and the other of Organic Garbage (Green Bins) and I just have to put each of my garbage bags into their respective chutes. Another alternate to prevent wastage of stale vegetables, is buying fresh and calculated amounts of vegetables for each day itself since the Woolworths ie. open till 12 AM is only a 300m walk from my residence.

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UTS Food Waste System – Each morning, the green bins are collected and loaded into such a machine known as ‘the dehydrator’ located in the basement of building 10. The machine heats to about 85 degrees and dehydrates the food scraps, reducing their volume and weight by around 80 per cent.Dehydrator turns the waste into a clean, dry, soil-like material that is used by EarthPower in Western Sydney as a fuel for generating renewable energy.

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UTS:Sustainable Futures, Processing Food Waste, Sydney, Viewed 4 April 2017

Food Waste Statistics, National Waste Policy, Australia, Viewed 4 April 2017

UTS 2013, WASTE MANAGE PLAN 2013-2015, Sydney, Viewed 4 April 2017,