Heriot-Watt students students strive to tackle food poverty in local community

A group of MA Interior Architecture and Design students at Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design in the Scottish Borders have been working on a community project alongside local organisation Café Recharge.

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The students got involved to help design the interior space of a café, local to the university, which was set up to reduce the gap between food poverty and food waste in the wider community.

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Run solely by volunteers, Café Recharge, in Galashiels uses unsold food from supermarkets to serve and operates a ‘pay what you can’ system.

Students got involved to help design the interior space of a local café set-up to reduce the gap between food poverty and food waste.

After surveying the site of the café and collaborating with industry partners, the students developed their design ideas and concepts to showcase what they felt would make this a vibrant and pleasant space for the community to enjoy.

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The students presented their ideas to Amy and Amanda, who founded Café Recharge and after consideration, students Dan Brodie and Adil Al Rawahi were selected for their amazing design concepts.

Commenting on Dan and Adil’s presentations, as well as the other students who presented, Café Recharge said: “We thought their 'From, for and with the community' strapline really captured the ethos of our project and that this was reflected throughout the design.

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"They took on board our feedback after the first session and we loved the materials they used and that they had given careful thought to the practicalities of running a food business. Also that the combination of booths and open plan tables offered a range of seating options for customers, they had also added a flexible large table space we feel would be great for private workshops.

“That said there we found elements that we liked in all the presentations that we would consider incorporating other elements from other designs.”

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As well as offering various schemes to tackle food poverty, Café Recharge plans to use the space to host cooking classes and workshops to benefit the local community.

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A spokesperson from Heriot-Watt University said: “The School of Textiles and Design is extremely proud to see students helping the community and is looking forward to seeing the winning designs implemented.”

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