In October 2015, arts organization and charity Knowle West Media Centre employed a team of eight Junior Digital Producers (JDPs) to work on the project. During a six-month training and employment programme, the JDPs learned in-demand skills in coding, data visualization and community engagement whilst working alongside local residents and project partners to develop research methods that would yield useful results and engaging ways of presenting the findings.
The JDPs set about creating a fun, interactive survey to gather information about local people’s food habits. After trialing several methods of data collection, the group developed the concept and prototype of the KWMC Fridge, building a life-size refrigerator filled with food models and feedback mechanisms.
The Fridge included 10 factors that could affect someone’s food habits, such as price of food, nutritional value, and access to shops, and participants were asked to indicate how much they were affected by each factor by marking their answer onto a ping-pong ball and posting it into a tube within the Fridge. The JDPs took the Fridge on a tour of Knowle West, stopping in different locations and gathering 75 responses.
The JDPs’ work concluded with the “Eat and Greet” event, when they transformed an empty shop in Knowle West into a ‘pop up supermarket’ containing the Fridge and a series of physical representations of the data collected during the Fridge tour.