Den Lille Kjøkken Soppen
Customer: School project.
Collaborators: Bendik Vestre, Sigrid Løvlie.
My role: Concept, illustrations, service, interaction and product designer.
Materials:  Wood workshop, Adobe illustrator (software), Adobe InDesign (software) and post it notes.
Duration: 4 months. 
Den lille kjøkken soppen is a service that allows the user to grow their own mushrooms, at home on the kitchen counter. We provide everything you need to succeed. The purpose of the service is to inform  and make it available  for self-grown mushrooms.We believe there is great potential in mushrooms as food in many areas. The culture around mushrooms in Norway is often limited either to season or to champignon - we think it's sad when there are so many nutritious and tasty types. 

By the service allowing the customer to grow their own mushrooms, we create a common experience, and a proximity to mushrooms as food - which you can not get from the store.

At the same time, the service has a much lower threshold than traditional mushroom picking in nature, where you are dependent on knowledge and time - and are limited to the season.

The service also offers some more unknown types of fungi, as well as the more well-known types. You will therefore get to taste several varieties and expand your horizons without 'risk factor' by picking mushrooms in the woods.

We give our customers access to the good food experience all year round, and the fantastic health benefits mushrooms give us.

This project had a somewhat unconventional starting point - service design is usually used to identify a problem or need of the user, in order to work on finding a suitable solution. In this project we started in a way at the other end; mushrooms as a starting point for the service. 

Mushrooms have an enormous potential, which is largely not utilized today. Mushrooms are very easy to grow, are very nutritious, and also easy to produce in a sustainable way. Due to these unique properties, and the great unrealized potential, we decided to work on exploiting or making mushrooms available.
We interviewed Anders Wollan and Kari Bergsnov, who are both mycologists. They have been useful to have for practical questions. From the interviews, we found that fungi have enormous potential in all possible directions. The biggest challenge is apparently that mushrooms have a “Image problem”. We keep in touch with them through whole process when ever we had some questions. 
Concept development
Since we had already chosen mushrooms as part of a solution, we naturally did some research both on what is possible to do with mushrooms, as well as what has been done in the past. We also talked to mushroom experts; mycologists, to more easily gain insight into the directions in which we could take the project. We also tested various existing offers related to mushrooms.

We took the unique properties of the mushroom further, and held two workshops to find possible uses with design students from first, second and third year. We put forward snacks, made a short presentation about the properties of the fungus, and challenged the participants to outline as many ideas as possible in 8 minutes, and then rank what they thought were their three best ideas. Then we went through all the proposals together, and discussed the potential of the various ideas.

In addition to workshop we interview more than 30 people on subject.

There was a wide range of ideas. We looked at opportunities for emergency kits, water purification, and generally ambitious ideas for using mushrooms in a way that makes the world a better place to live. We looked at the unique properties of the fungus to create important change.

Local user
Because the user should be central in any design project, we had to zoom in on Oslo. Being able to communicate directly with the user, not to mention test out prototypes is essential to achieve a good result. To achieve this, we decided that the user must be local. This also meant that some of our potential concepts wouldn't work, such as ideas that included food production for refugee camps, or other projects that would require users who are difficult to get in touch with.
In other words ideas for using mushrooms in a way that makes the world a better place to live wasn't an option any more.
We choose cultivation
As a consequence of choosing a local user, we decided at this point that cultivation would have the greatest potential for the service.

We chose to focus further on these properties: robust, nutritious and fast growing

Our user
The food enthusiast with or without family Are well-established people with a stable economy, and a desire to explore new and exciting food, or find new leisure projects. Imagine the type who would like to brew their own beer, or ferment cabbage. We want to appeal to the joy of creating something yourself, and the curiosity for new and exciting food.
Visual identity & brand
Our profile 
De visuelle elementene er valgt med omhu for å spille på lag med verdiene våre og treffe målgruppen best mulig. Vi bruker tre ulike fonter. Fargene er friske og skal vekke appetitt.
Fotografiene utstråler profesjonalitet og er mer rettet mot matentusiastene. Vi hadde en lang prosess på logo og endte med en håndskrevet font og en noe organisk look.

What are we going to convey?
The profile is composed of elements that are specifically aimed at our main user. It should inspire confidence, radiate some nostalgia, inspire inspiration and appetite and be credible in all its aspects. We believe we have succeeded in creating a profile that undoubtedly does not sell anything illegal - which was one of the challenges we faced in promoting mushrooms as food.
Process around names
Choosing a name was difficult and time consuming. We took many rounds and stopped by everything that has to do with fungi, mush, mushroom, factory, kitchen and home mushrooms. In the end, it was Den Lille Nøttefabrikken that inspired us. By having the words "the little one" in the name, the service suddenly got the personal touch we needed. From there came the avatar and thus large parts of our visual profile were created.
About the illustrations
We have been very conscious about the development of illustrations and the use of the little avatar from the logo. From the very beginning of the project, we have been met with partial skepticism and what we see as unfortunate associations with fungi. The avatar and the other illustrations are designed to reduce any doubts about the service. They will seem harmless for the skeptical and inviting for those who like and use the service. In addition, they have an important job of explaining and being on a team with our youngest users - Den Lille Kjøkkensoppen is well liked by the children of the test persons.
The development of the service
After creating the first user journey we got aware of some possible pain points. For example, when will the next package arrive, will it be boring to wait between the two shipments? What do you do when the block is out of business? What do you do - and what it leads to for you as a customer - if the fungus dies? It will undoubtedly be awkward anyway, but by detecting them early we could change parts of the user journey and design to avoid these pain points.
User testing
We were concerned that testing should be as close to the real service as possible - to get the best feedback of the test users.

We were curious about how the cultivation of mushrooms would actually go at home with the users. From our own tests, we learned that growing from the spore stage is both time consuming and difficult; therefore we ordered a cultivation set with "spore blocks", which is in the last stage before the fungus grows. Sending this to our test users was the best simulation of what Den Lille Kjøkkensoppen will do; where we cultivate the spore blocks and the customer can get results only after a few days.

We sent this out:
• Cultivation box 
• Spore block in plastic 
• Shower bottle 
• Plastic lid 
• Instruction booklet 
• Recipe booklet
We learned a lot from our user tester. All usefully information we implemented in our service as well as we change som of existing aspects. 

Our Service

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