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Food insecurity is a real issue unfortunately faced by many students at SJSU. The SJSU Spartan Food Pantry is a walk-in, full-service, staffed, food assistance program that provides a resource for students to receive non-perishable goods, fresh produce, and refrigerated items to eligible students. Imagine that our SJSU Spartan Food Pantry was redesigned with a more ecology-focused "systems approach" like

Designed by students and for students, what do you want to see available and how can you improve the package and delivery? Pick a product that you would like to see available at the SJSU Spartan Food Pantry (or if you prefer) and redesign it using an innovative new material and a specific manufacturing process from our course textbook, readings, research, and lectures.

The full Adobe Spark project brief including rubric and full context is found here:

The culminating student project posters and materials experiments are on display in the Thompson Gallery’s “New Kinships: Community Dialogues and Interdisciplinary Connections” exhibit.

Publication Date

Fall 2021

Document Type


Assignment Category

Visual Arts


DSID41: Materials and Manufacturing




Industrial and Product Design | Sustainability

Explain how your assignment addresses Sustainable Futures.

Students were asked to design products that utilize sustainable materials and manufacturing methods that could support the Spartan Food Pantry and decrease single-use packaging waste.

Explain how your assignment is robust, innovative, or active engagement of students.

My project brief was presented using Adobe Spark and incorporates resources students could access online (Material Connexion database), in-person (Material Connexion Material Library), and with tools they have at home (books).

Explain how your assignment might be used outside your own discipline.

The brief could be used for students in business, marketing, packaging, nutrition, design, and engineering. Sustainable food packaging is a topic that is relevant and critical for multiple disciplines to approach from different angles.

Describe the purpose and benefits of the collaboration with your cross-disciplinary collaborator.

Cynthia Cao was instrumental in bringing in Corinne Takara to conduct a biodesign workshop where we juxtaposed our traditional (and less sustainable) prototyping materials such as urethanes and silicones, with bio-collaborative mycellium and algae.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Community Table Project