Outcomes-Based Design and Food Retail

Linking Health and Design in Neighborhood Food Retail


LOCATION: New York State and surrounding region
STATUS: Completed, Spring 2013
ENTRY POINT: Supermarket
FACTORS: Design Education, Food Environment, Food Access and Equity, Economic Development, Building Performance/Energy Use, Healthy Food Preference and Consumption, Healthy Food Knowledge, Community Engagement

TOOLS: Graduate Design Studio-Linking Design Opportunities to Relevant Outcomes for Advancing Healthy Communities

According to a recent Institute of Medicine report, societal perceptions and norms about food consumption heavily influence individual behaviors, therefore only a nationwide prevention strategy will be able to modulate behavior towards health-positive outcomes.

The Linking Health and Design in Neighborhood Food Retail is the first part in a multi-phase project that aims to strengthen healthy communities by addressing the real barriers to accessing and consuming healthy foods through supermarket access in low-income urban areas. It leverages the opportunity and mandate to improve access to healthy food through the supermarket as “intervention.”

Key questions:

What are the types of health and community development outcomes that supermarkets can influence through urban design/city planning, building performance, and experience design?

What tools are needed to ensure those outcome can be achieved?

What are needs and opportunities with different    stakeholder groups (supermarket operators, food justice advocates, community members, public health sector, city planning, and designers)?

Interface Studio Architects
Parsons, The New School for Design