A SIDE OF CHANGE: Redesigning the School Lunch Experience

A holistic, hands-on program to actively involve students in the planning and preparation of their school lunch, while introducing them to the skill necessary to make healthy life-long food decisions.


Today’s children in the U.S. are predicted to be the first to die at a younger age than their parents as a result of little exercise and obesity-related illnesses.

In a design ideas competition sponsored by AiA Seattle & Design in Public, we were asked to redesign the school lunch experience to give the best in health and wellness to our kids.


Research + Design strategy

Conducted expert interviews, Field observation, Stakeholder mapping, Ideation


Colin Barrett, Jeremy Friedland Susanne Hsu


We began by assembling a design team passionate about the topic. We proceeded with primary and secondary research to understand the stakeholders and unique challenges of the problem space.

We observed the school lunch experience and interviewed teachers and the school lunch cook at a local Seattle middle school in order to immerse ourselves in the space and to identify opportunities for redesigning the experience.


By actively involving students from a young age in the planning and preparation of their school lunch, A Side of Change makes healthy food fun and interesting, and introduces students to the skills they need to develop lifelong practices for good health.

Our work is currently being featured on the Design in Public's online gallery.


Observing school lunch at local middle school

Observing school lunch at local middle school

Secondary research insights

Secondary research insights

School lunch ecosystem

School lunch ecosystem