UNKNOWN RICE SHOP
Team member: Ji-yeong Lee, Da-hee Ho, Ga-hee Kim
My Role: I mainly took part of research (70%), the overall storytelling of the riceshop,
contacting with farmers, interview, and logo design(100%). I also contributed to space design,
site research, interior design mockup, visual materials for graduation exhibition.
ABOUT UNKNOWN RICE SHOP
Every farmer has his or her own philosophy and story of farming.
Each type of rice has its own taste. However, when rice is sold in large retailers,
the stories of farmers disappear, and various types of rice are combined and sold
in one package. At the same time, although there are multiple types of rice and
over 2000 rice brands in Korea, many customers are not aware of who harvested rice, whether the brand of rice is trustworthy, and the steps that rice go through to arrive
at their dining table.
“Unknown Rice Shop” aimed to provide experiential consumption,
by introducing the hidden stories of rice farmers as well as healthy combination of rice.
WHY ‘UNKNOWN’ RICE SHOP?
The word ‘unknown’ derived from the hidden stories of rice farming behind a grain that we, as South Koreans, were unaware in our daily diet.
The square shape of Rice Shop symbolizes the traditional bowl used to measure the quantity of rice.
OUR SYMBOL, ‘XXX’
Most Korean names are composed of three letters and ‘XXX’ is often used to indicate anonymity. In our Unkown Rice Shop, ‘XXX’ is used as a symbol and a design item to symbolize
the anonymity of rice farmers who are unrecognized by many Korean rice consumers.
When choosing our target, we focused on rapidly changing social structures.
This included delayed marriages, increased women’s participation in the economy,
and shift from collectivism to individualism, all of which contributed to a growing
numbers of single-person households.
More specifically, we focused on young adults in their 20-30s.
Through various researches, we found three major characteristics of this generation:
- Experienced transition from collective culture to individualistic culture,
which has led to increased demand for customized consumption and diet.
- Increasing late marriages and single adults with economic wealth,
which has allowed higher value consumptions.
- Growing interest in quality of life and greater awareness on daily diet and nutrition intake.
CONTACT RICE FARMERS
We decided that our basic criteria of quality rice brands would be those with Nonghyup certification mark.
Next, we identified rice farmers who cultivate and sell rice on their own without specialized branding.
Then, We contacted 10 rice farmers and presented our idea. Among the 10, we finally convinced 1 farmer to participate in our project.
INTERVIEW WITH THE FARMER
In the interview with the farmer, we generated information not simply about the rice itself, but about the farmer’s philosophy, cultivation process, and differences from other rice products. In addition, we also asked personal anecdote about how he became a farmer and how he started to grow rice.