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CommonBowl - Connecting Cultures Through Food in the Office

The objective of this eight-month capstone studio project is to help bridge cultural divides in the Canadian workplace. Using the playful medium of snacks, coworkers can share their cultural expression with one another in a fun, low-commitment way. 

The solution involves three main components:

  • A service solution

    • Monthly international snack delivery to the office originating from a surprise country​

  • A physical solution

    • Snack bowl with an interactive base, so users can "vote" on their favourites​

  • A digital solution

    • Website to learn more about the snacks and the cultures from which they originated​

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Problem Space

Although Canada prides itself in its multiculturalism, research supports that there still exists undeniable cultural divides. While 85% of Canadians believe that our diversity betters the nation, 66% believe Canada is a racist country (Angus Reid Institute, 2021). 

Racism is a wicked problem with multiple layers far beyond the scope of this project, but in this case, CommonBowl focuses on the interpersonal level, how we can use social connection to combat the notion of outsider. 

The project addresses the top two tiers of the Inclusion Model, enabling cultural exposure and experience (Winters 2013). Since culture is inherently complex with multiple layers of depth, CommonBowl tackles the cultural divide in a light-hearted and playful avenue through food. 

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The Opportunity

Research in commensality supports that the act of eating together significantly increases trust, teamwork and cooperation between cultures (Wooley, 2017). 

Additionally, studies suggest that multiculturalism thrive through sharing cultural expression and providing opportunities for intergroup contact (John, 2012).

"The easiest way to win hearts and minds is through the stomach."


Digital Solution

The accompanying web application allows users to:

  • Subscribe their office to CommonBowl

  • Learn more about current snacks and their ratings

  • Input their office's monthly snack contribution

  • View individual office's profiles with various fun statistics, history logs, and rankings

  • Connect with other CommonBowl users across the world

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Snack Profile
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Global Network and Statistics
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Office Statistics and History
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Add a Snack
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