THE PRODUCE VENDOR PROJECT, NEW YORK CITY

ETHNOGRAPHIC AND DESIGN RESEARCH

MFA DESIGN FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION

OVERVIEW

Street vendors in NewYork city become a major part of the city’s culture. Most of the produce vendors are immigrants making a living in a big city. In order to set up a stand, the vendors are expected to go through a permit process and it is hard work in order to maintain a stand. The project is an intervention of the produce vendors in the city through various research methodologies.

THE PROBLEM

Produce vendors in NYC must work hard in order to maintain the produce stand. They must go through a strict process in order to obtain the permits for their cart. The city’s policies are unclear or strict and the vendors must go through a huge process in order to retain their business. The policies are unclear and hence, the vendors are unaware of all the laws, they get fined for not following the health codes.

THE PROCESS

Research Design, Data Collection (debrief method– stories, quotes, insights, learnings, implications, summary of top lines), Analysis, Synthesis, Recommendations

RESEARCH DESIGN

DATA COLLECTION: MEET THE VENDORS

Methods: Qualitative Research (through interviews), Quantitative Research (Literature Reviews)

ANALYSIS

Method: Affinity Mapping, User Journey (The 5 E Model– Entice, Enter, Engage, Exit and Extend)

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SYNTHESIS

Intensive analysis revealed new understandings of the primary challenges faced by New York’s street produce vendors. Once we began to understand who the vendors were and their true identity, some of the challenges they face began to emerge.

The challenges were– the permitting process, regulations and enforcement. Each of these challenges helped test our assumptions and gave new information, further breaking the newly obtained information into implications. Through implications we arrived at certain recommendations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

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IMPACT

If the above recommendations are taken into consideration and the policies and processes are renovated, vendors can then thrive in New York city with more entrepreneurial opportunities and scaling to other parts of New York city– including food deserts that can further enhance healthy eating communities.

LEARNING GOALS

Team work,  insight generation, critical thinking, design methodology, sense making

TEAM

Adewunmi Adetayo, Andrea Archer, Stephen Morrison, Jessica Silver, Hrudaya Veena Yanamandala

CONTRIBUTION

Profile Interviews, Visualisation, Data Analysis, Data Synthesis, Illustration