Fooda popup

Design of a Fooda restaurant space at The Shops at North Bridge

Process

My role

Design lead

How it works

Fooda partners with local restaurants to offer daily rotating options for lunch. Each day, a different restaurant visits a designated Fooda space (called a popup site) and sells their food.

The design process

I led the design of a Fooda popup site at a downtown Chicago mall. I began by familiarizing myself with the popup space and observing the flow of traffic throughout the food court. I put myself in the customer’s shoes, envisioning what it would be like to read a menu, order food, and pay for my lunch. I wanted to design a process that would be smooth and enjoyable for future customers.

Challenges

A small budget drove me to become more inventive and resourceful. The space was oddly shaped and one of the walls had uneven edges and awkwardly jutted out. I wanted to clean it up and create a wall that looked purposeful and served as a backdrop for restaurant menus. I decided to cover the wall in wood planks. However, a white-washed wood planked wall was too expensive to buy, so I had to make it myself. I drove to Home Depot, loaded 70 square feet of lumber into my ‘93 Accord, and hauled it up to my 12th floor apartment. I covered my entire floor in wood planks and painted them white. The whole process took 16 hours and multiple coats of paint, but I got a new facade out of it for a third of the price.

The marketing campaign

Once the design of the Fooda space was complete, I created a marketing campaign around it. I organized a photoshoot, took and edited photos, created emails, wrote copy, designed and printed banners, and put together a video ad. I stayed up late for several nights watching After Effects tutorials so that I could create a motion graphic video to promote Fooda. The 15 second video now plays on a 10ft screen at the entrance of The Shops at North Bridge.

The takeaway

During this project, I shed my title of digital product designer and became an architect, an interior designer, a manager, and a painter (the Tom Sawyer variety). I enjoyed the refreshing autonomy and the variety of problems that I got to solve. Designing a space, coordinating the installation of materials, and launching a marketing campaign in under 3 weeks was a challenging, but rewarding process.

Results

Designed Popup space

Printed card design

Banner designs

Motion graphic advertisement

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