Design Student Offers a Revolution in Packaging

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Graphic designer Paul Platosh MALS ’06 attempts to turn the traditional supermarket on its head in his thesis, Reenvisoning the Marketplace: A Radical Redesign of the Modern Supermarket, in which he introduces a new concept store—Ecoop.

The store is based on a paradigm shift in marketing, where products are sold by volume rather than weight. After studying the packagingecoop image used in modern grocery stores, Platosh, who runs the design program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, concluded that every item on store shelves could instead be sold in one of eleven reusable containers.

Customers entering the Ecoop would take their empty containers to kiosks, where they would pay a flat price to fill them with particular goods. This method of bulk selling cuts down on waste for customers and takes damaged product losses out of the equation for retailers. “When you sell by weight, it’s hard to judge how much you want and how much you’ll have to pay,” says Platosh. “This way, the customers see how much they’ll get and exactly what it will cost.

“I wanted people to think about recycling,” he continues. “I don’t think recycling is the [one] answer we need to come up with as a society. This is my alternative. This is what it could look like; it’s proof of the concept.”

—Emily Mentzer ’08

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