Project 1 — Understanding
design opportunities
and creating concepts

Taisei Manheim
4 min readFeb 8, 2021


Week 1: 2/1–2/7

This past week our group met to discuss the research that we did on Community Food Banks. I primarily researched different ways to donate to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank including one time donations, monthly donations, food donations, vehicle donations, putting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in your will, and more. I also looked into the Grow, Share, Thrive Initiative that the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has and their goals for the future. I also looked into some of the statistics on food insecurity in Southwest Pennsylvania and the statistics measuring the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s impact.

As a group we decided to go to a community food bank over the weekend to be volunteer and be participant observers, but after talking to Vicki in class we decided that we shouldn’t because we would have to take public transportation. We decided instead to create a survey to give to young adults as well as come up with questions so we could interview a volunteer at a community food bank. I wrote up some questions to ask and I or someone else in the group will call the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to see if we could talk to someone there.

Week 2: 2/8–2/14

This week our group met to work on the stakeholder map and the personas. We each made one persona and I made the one for a person that donates money to the food bank. We then worked on empathy mapping for each of the personas. We also started recording our 50 problems and solutions. My problems and drawing solutions are shown in the images below:

Based on feedback from Vicki towards the end of class we will try to come up with more ambitious, absurd, or out-there ideas. We will also split up certain parts of the presentation up to complete a rough draft by Tuesday. We haven’t decided how exactly we will split up the work but one way could be stakeholder map, personas, questions/solutions, and overall presentation.

I have continued to come up with questions to ask both a volunteer at a food bank and a food bank coordinator and the other members of the group added a few as well. I or someone else in the group will call/email the food bank to try to set up a meeting on Zoom so we could ask our questions. We will also hopefully talk with Vicki’s neighbor that volunteers at the food bank and/or people that he knows that volunteer.

Week 3: 2/15–2/21

This week our group presented the draft of our presentation during class and got some feedback about the amount of text, the colors used, and the fonts used. On Thursday during our group meeting we started to edit the presentation based on this feedback. We also discussed what were the top few solutions we wanted to focus on. I worked on the problem statement and research and I plan on reducing the amount of text and making the slides more visual to have a greater impact. This weekend we will continue to work on the presentation and the written report.

Week 4: 2/22–2/28

This week we focused on editing the presentation based on feedback that we got to make it more visual and less text-heavy. I reworked my sections (Agenda, Problem Statement, Research) so they fit our green theme and created new survey graphics to fit our theme. Remi reworked the personas to have less text and created multiple slides for the stakeholder map so it is easier to read. Jenny edited the Pain Point Slides. Gil edited the solution slides and created the drawings for the solutions. I also did the report.

We did a few run throughs of our presentation beforehand to make sure that we didn’t take too long and then we presented on Thursday! It was great to get feedback on our presentation, especially from people involved at the Food Bank. We will keep this feedback in mind for Project 3!