Archive Object
A photograph of the staff dinning room at BT Central Training School, 1959, TCB 473/P 7119, ©️ BT Archives

Xiaojuan Pang

The Market Place

︎The Market Place 2020 is a speculative UX design proposal, exploring how the potential benefits that telecommunications offer within the modern day can be implemented to create meaningful solutions to challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic in a near future, particularly in terms of food consumption. The pandemic has affected all aspects of social norms and behaviour—the issue of food, how we acquire it and consume it, has become pivotal.

︎ At the time of writing, The UK government is to reveal a “roadmap” out of the imposed lockdown, in which several measures are considered to let workplaces reopen. (BBC News, 4 May 2020) How will the way we eat at work change with the lifting of lockdown? Will workplace takeaways, shift-based lunches and food pre-ordering become the “new normal” when the Covid-19 crisis fades out? If so, how can telecommunication technologies facilitate these changes positively?

︎Instantly, we have changed. The pandemic is rewriting our realities. What we felt impossible has become tangible.

Photograph by BT Archives / Getty Images

︎ The inspiration for this project began with the closure of Marks and Spencer’s in-store deli — The Market Place on the 18th March, in response to concerns arising from the Covid-19 break out, 5 days before national lockdown began.

︎The Market Place, only a short time ago, was a popular lunch destination for local professionals to order their lunch from. Through the lens of The Market Place, which to date still remains temporarily closed, this research explores and speculates possible solutions to the potential challenges, presented by the pandemic, affecting how people take their lunch breaks and order food in the foreseeable future. 

︎ To acknowledge the importance of The Market Place within this project, as both the point of departure and prominent case study, I decided to design the proposed innovations within the context of a practical solution for The Market Place, and branded it accordingly with its official logo; I would like to specially thank Marks & Spencer for giving me the permission to feature their branding.

︎The Market Place 2020