The Challenge

Design for food printing

The historic relationship between food and humans reveals the fundamental intricacy and significance of food, from individual to societal levels. Despite the enduring perception of food only as a quantifiable object to be managed for economic progress, ways that people imagine, perceive, and experience food are complex, multi-layered, and thus often difficult to articulate. Food is a desideratum, as much an object of desire as that of necessity. Diverse ways in which food may be perceived and experienced–from a source of nutrition to a representation of spirituality–make it an epistemologically challenging construct and a fascinating topic for design exploration. As David Kaplan notes: ‘[f]ood is vexing … the subject quickly becomes tied up in countless empirical and practical matters that frustrate attempts to think about its essential properties.’

Ambitious as ever, OzCHI and other related communities have started to explore challenges and opportunities at the intersection between food and interactive networked technologies. This includes, health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and social equity. Food Computer-Human Interaction (FoodCHI) has emerged as a significant area of research interest (cf. Choi, Foth & Hearn 2014; Comber, Choi, Hoonhout & O’Hara 2014). What these technological, social, and environmental changes signal is an epochal transformation of the human-food relationship.

Of the many possibilities, food printing has become a popular experimental platform. Your task is to design a creative interface and experience of printing organic foodstuffs like fruit and vegetables. You are welcome to choose a particular group of potential users but we would like you to focus particularly on those who have more difficulties with consuming fruit and vegetables presently. Some examples of groups you may want to investigate include children who often perceive fruit and vegetables as unpleasant—sometimes not because of their taste but because fruit and vegetables have negative connotations amongst their peer cultures—the elderly whose intake reduces in parallel with their dental health, and those who have limited access to fresh produce in their everyday lives. How might we help create useful and pleasant experiences of printing fruit and vegetables for these people?

Where to start

First make sure you have submitted your team information here.

Then make a start on understanding the problem space by reading the following articles:

Now have a bit of a dig through the literature to see if you can find anything interesting. Once you’ve done that start brainstorming. Work with your team, come up with, and work through your ideas. Also please tweet @ozchi24 or email if you need help.


1. Paper

To describe your project you are asked to write a brief (2 page) ‘mini paper’ in academic style and using the OzCHI paper template—found here—explaining concept, design process, and response. You are strongly encouraged to include research references and other relevant links in the paper, as well as links to other relevant journal entries. Like last year the paper will carry substantial weight when compared with previous years. That said, don’t panic! It’s shorter than it sounds, and we will be providing you with examples and instructions on how to do it. We understand that it’s a 24-hour challenge, and that will be taken into consideration 🙂

2. Online journal

To demonstrate your design process you are required to keep an online journal in form of a team blog. Use the journal to record any major stages for your design, such as user research, prototyping, etc. We don’t expect you to share any ideas or results before the end of the 24-hour challenge, but what we want to be able to follow is the methodology you used to come up with your final design. Make sure we have the link to your online journal by filling out this survey. Include the names of all team members somewhere on your online journal. In your Paper’s references section include a link to your blog.

3. Video

To demonstrate your solution you are asked to submit a video. This can be either a video prototype or a concept video. Anything from animation through screen capture to acting is valid. Note that this means that you don’t necessarily have to implement the system. The video should not be longer than 3 minutes. Include at least a title and your team name somewhere in the video. In your Paper’s references section include a link to your video submission (a blog post where you embed your video will be sufficient).

4. Mini-challenges

We will be running a series of mini-challenges that are designed to give you some direction and help you reach your milestones. While completing them will help you create your video and paper, they will not have a direct impact on your final assessment. They will be announced throughout the course of the challenge.

How to submit.

This year we will again be using Easychair. You will need to include references to your blog and video in your paper. We will be providing more details as we get closer to the submission time.

Submissions will be open until Sunday 21 September 2014, 10am (AEST).

This is what we’ll look out for

Your submission will be assessed by our panel of judges according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of design process and use of interaction design methods and theory
  • Design quality, innovation, and originality of your response to the challenge
  • Considerations into user experience and user interaction
  • Quality, visual style, clarity, and depth of the submission (video and paper)

Prizes and awards that we’re giving out

The judging panel consists of a group of reviewers (see below) who will select up to four finalists from all submissions to the 24-hour online challenge. Each finalist team will receive a travel scholarship to the OzCHI 2014 conference. The travel scholarships include up to:

  • 2 student tickets to the OzCHI in Sydney (valued at 385.00 AUD each). Each ticket grants a student access to three days of keynote talks and conference sessions, the welcome reception and conference dinner.
  • Up to 1500.00 AUD in travel subsidies and reimbursements (details of which will be dependant on the finalist teams’ countries of origin).

The finalist teams will be invited to present their work in a special session at the conference. We will support remote video presentations (e.g. via Skype) if you can’t make it to Sydney. However in this case your team won’t be able to claim the travel scholarship.

The winning team will be selected at the conference based on their presentations at a dedicated conference session and announced during the closing ceremony on the last day of the conference. The winning teams will receive prizes (for 1st and 2nd places) and certificates of recognition (for all finalists).

Up to 10 submissions will be featured with their 2-page paper in the OzCHI conference catalogue! Those teams whose papers are selected may be asked to make corrections in their paper in order to reach the ‘camera ready’ state.

Talk about your progress

Apart from the submission requirements mentioned above, we love to see as much ‘behind the scenes’ coverage as possible—use your design blog to tell us about your process as well as Google+, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc to cover every aspect of your design journey. Please use #ozchi24 for tagging any challenge-related posts.

Meet some of our judges

  • Christopher Lueg: Professor in HCI at University of Tasmania
  • Lone Koefoed Hansen: Associate Professor in arts, culture & digital stuff at Aarhus University
  • Martin Tomitsch: Lecturer in Design Computing at the University of Sydney
  • Henrik Kosgaard: Winner of the #ozchi24 challenge in 2010 (online) and currently PhD fellow in Computer Science / Participatory IT at Aarhus University
  • Paris Buttfield-Addison: Founder at Secret Lab, author of several O’Reilly Media books, #ozchi24 veteran, winner of the challenges in 2009 (on-site) and 2010 (on-site), and Lord of ‘Call me Dr!’ now that his graduation ceremony has taken place!
  • And many more…

If you get stuck

You can post questions via twitter @ozchi24 or email We will provide support throughout the 24 hours of the challenge.

The fine print

By participating in the OzCHI student design challenge, you agree to the publication of your entry (video and online journal) on the challenge website ( and the conference website ( You further grant us the rights to include your video, blog, paper, etc., or parts there of, in a documentation about the challenge, sponsorship prospectus and other such material. Any material we publish will be fully referenced and your team will retain the copyrights. To receive the travel scholarship you will need to attend OzCHI 2014 and provide proof of your student status at the time the challenge took place.