In this time of COVID19 and social distancing, we must consider our need for appropriately accessible food services. Students were asked to generate a concept for a drive-thru restaurant and illustrate six components. The six visual design components culminated in a single digital image. This final image served as a “placemat” both in the literal sense and in the business sense. In the words of ThoughForm, a strategy and design consultancy, “In business speak, visual explanation “placemats” combine images and words to explain a process, business model, or new product or service. They focus on the big ideas, making them tangible with illustrations.” The artistic process involved, conceiving and illustrating six restaurant features that included: five menu items, the specialty item (think the Big Mac), the structure, the signage, the mascot, and the slogan. These six features could be digitally or hand drawn but ultimately submitted as a digital art work in the form of a PDF.
I think this project has a lot of potential. It would have been helpful to collaborate with a teacher in another discipline to focus on the significance of what the students were asked to conceive. We could also include more focus on the actual designing of specific and important details, like; pandemic friendly packaging, safe distribution of the food products and the designing and engineering of the facilities. There is a lot of potential to take this idea further and really get into the practice and inner workings of a pandemic safe drive-thru restaurant, as well as innovative and compelling architecture and design that embodies the purpose and flavors of the establishment.
The part of the project I liked most was designing a menu of the food that I can only imagine but couldn’t bake in the kitchen. I think it’s good to think about how food service can be affected when there is some thing like COVID-19 around.”