A smart-home device to reduce food waste

Project overview
Next Door Nosh is smart-home prototype designed in collaboration with Franco Chen. The project aims to build community & reduce food waste within residential apartments by starting a conversation between neighbors while sharing leftovers. Next Door Nosh is a dome-shaped device which sends scented invitations to neighbors when the host has food to share. These smart devices communicate locally within a residential intranet.

Conceptual collaborator, print layout design, technical writing, illustratration

PROJECT DURATIONMarch 2022 to May 2022

The product

We presented the final product by creating a user manual for Next Door Nosh.  

    Design process

    This project was motivated by two central issues:

    1. Lack of community engagement in residential buildings
    2. Food waste

    We used the first issue to develop a problem statement and included the second issue as part of our “how might we?” statements.

    Apartment buildings in New York contain high populations of transplants who are new to the city and looking to build a community, yet it is difficult to bridge the gap from neighbor to friend.

    How might we use food as a means to reduce barriers to community-building between neighbors?


    Dr. David Edwards developed a methodology to send aromas which has been referred to as the “oPhone.” This device uses combinations of aromas to create scents that can be sent by email or text message to other users and has future applications in food and fragrance markets. We decided to include this scent-sending technology in our Next Door Nosh prototype to contribute to the futuristic attributes of the device and engage users through new sensory cues. 


    We wanted to incorporate IoT technology into our solution, so we focused on the interactions we wanted to create among our users. Key features of the device interactions were:

    1. Enabling a face-to-face engagement
    2. Utilizing food as a connection point
    3. Futuristic aesthetic
    4. Mobile phone not required

    art & creative