Call for Designers: Shumka x Circular Food Innovation Lab

November 25, 2021

Shumka x Circular Solutions Food Lab is a Mitacs-funded research collaboration opportunity that will work with Vancouver–based food sector clients to develop and prototype promising solutions along the food supply chain to increase circularity and reduce wasted and lost food Spring – Summer 2022 currently looking for 8 Research Assistants.

Each designer will take a lead role in developing and testing prototype concepts at varying degrees of fidelity. These will be tested at food supply chain actor sites (grocery retailers, food processors, wholesalers, distributors, restaurants etc.). All design team members will be expected to actively contribute to all other prototype concepts. The design and testing of prototypes will be used in order to learn about potential high-impact and larger scale interventions that the City of Vancouver, VEC, and food supply chain actors may want to pursue in the future, so using rapid prototyping, iteration, and evaluation as learning tools will be important practices for this initial work.

View the full call on Artswork
Deadline to apply: December 10, 2021

This role includes

  • Co-develop design process, tools and techniques: Design team will draw on the design process, action research and systems thinking for problem framing, ideation, prioritization, prototyping and iteration, and evaluation for continuous learning
  • In-field learning, co-design, and rapid prototyping: Designers meet with food sector clients onsite and virtually to observe and understand challenges and engage in rapid prototyping of potential interventions.
  • Co-lead generative and evaluative gatherings: A series of gatherings are planned, where designers, Vancouver Economic Commission and City of Vancouver staff, and food sector clients will meet to identify challenges, share prototype concepts and reflect on the process.
  • Document and communicate learnings and outcomes: Designers document and report on process and findings and contribute to communicating learnings and storytelling that will be shared through interim and final reports and presentations.



  • Experience with and/or openness to navigating complex challenge environments where there are many unknowns and many possible solutions.
  • A keen interest in sustainability and urban systems, and working on systems transformation.
  • Demonstrated experience in the design process and some or all of the following design areas: service design, interaction design, industrial design, communication design, UX, human-centered design, action research, and both qualitative and quantitative research skills.
  • Comfortable and keen to work collaboratively and creatively using co-design processes/practices, action research, and equitable and inclusive processes and practices.
  • Keen and competent working quickly and iteratively to make low-fi concepts to test and learn from.
  • Proficient in using design software, with the ability to write and communicate effectively for multiple audiences outside of the design sector.
  • Fluency in more than one language is considered an asset

Combination of remote and on-site work at partner organizations in compliance with public health guidelines.