Project Summary

This project is based on the 12th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, Responsible Consumption and Production. In the era of economic globalization, massive material waste has been generated from producing tourist souvenirs. Students focused on identifying issues and developing sustainable design solutions through field research, interviews, and focus groups. They finally delivered a sustainable packaging concept of whisky tourism souvenirs based on five senses, which eliminate homogenization and are customized to Scotland's region. This research also leads to a service system that supports and improves tourists’ whisky-purchasing process.

Field Research

The field research at Edinburgh Whisky Experience Centre was a significant turning point in the students’ research.

Firstly, the booking system is thoughtful. With 15 people per group, the appointment system ensures that travellers are comfortable during their experience. Secondly, the experience process is standardised and suitable for all users. After starting the experience, visitors went through the container train, the immersive scent lounge, the whisky tasting and the history gallery. This process allows whisky newbies to follow the narrator and  become fully immersed in the world of whisky after a short half-hour experience. Thirdly, the whole sensory experience and digital technology assistance are impressive. The Experience Centre uses a combination of technologies such as holographic projections and 4D experiences to allow visitors to experience the whisky-making process more immersively. The students were pleasantly surprised by the use of the five senses design during the introduction of the cinema room, which was fully engaging through cards that smell the flavours of different origins combined with overhead videos of the sources.

The students compared the Experience Centre with other souvenir shops and what attracted them the most was the multi-sensory experience.

(Different colour circles represent different types of whisky)
(Different Colour Circles Represent Different Types of Whisky)


Focus Group

To explore the relationship between the different senses and memory, a focus group was set up to conduct the experiment. The experiment was divided into three main steps.

(Tools of Focus Groups)
(Tools of Focus Groups)

Step1. Memory Ranking

After allowing participants to experience the five senses separately, they sort the stickers of the five senses in the order that makes them memorable.

Step2. Experience of Whisky

The students use some objects collect from Whiskey Experience Center to simulate the visit process.

Step3. Five Senses Concentration

Based on the results of the three stages of the focus group, the students found that a single sense only allows the user to understand the object from one side. The joint senses enable the user to gain more information and better understand the object. So they focused more on increasing the multi-sensory experience in their subsequent design.

(Focus Group Held in Glasgow)
(Focus Group Held in Glasgow)

Based on the results of the three stages of the focus group, the students found that a single sense only allows the user to understand the object from one side. The joint senses enable the user to gain more information and better understand the object. So they focused more on increasing the multisensory experience in their subsequent design.

Final Concept

The whisky souvenir - 'Your Personal Whisky Museum’ was designed with the idea of sustainability and going green, which used recycled material to make the packaging and the interior contains a five-sense experience introducing the story of whisky.

(Final Concept - Your Personal Whisky Museum)
(Final Concept - Your Personal Whisky Museum)
(Making packaging with recycled materials)
(Making Packaging with Recycled Materials)

The interior has four pages, each telling the story of Scotch whisky through the five senses. The first page, tourists are introduced to the process of making whisky. On the second page includes a scent capsule with a wax seal, allowing the user to reveal the scent of Scotch whisky by rubbing it. On the third page, the students look at it from an auditory point of view. When users scan the track, they can hear the sound of a Scottish flute. Finally, users will find the portable scotch with seed paper. Users can put the seeds in an empty bottle to grow flowers after users finish their whisky.

(Your Personal Whisky Museum - Internal Pages)

Future Direction

The future of the students’ research direction is about enhancing the realization of sustainable concepts in the entire product manufacturing process. Starting with the travel process before, during, and after the trip and using a combination of online and offline models to promote rational consumption. In the future, the students want to provide users with a circular approach and simultaneously embed the sustainability perspective in the user's mind throughout the entire product production process. Whisky may be a small part of a tourist souvenir, but it takes a lot of effort to perfect it, and there are many more aspects of design that should be improved on in the future.

(Service Blueprint of future tourists’ souvenir purchasing process)
(Service Blueprint of Future Tourists’ Souvenir Purchasing Process)

Learn more about this project here
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Staff associated with the project

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