January 2010 - May 2010

Our Design and Social Change class partnered with Construction Junction, a local "non-profit retail warehouse supporting conservation through the reuse of building materials" to create a design concept for a new in-store DIY feature. Each DIY station contains a finished product made with Construction Junction supplies and instructions to build it, in order to motivate customers to build it. Many Construction Junction customers are regulars who build as a hobby and our goal in developing the DIY section was to sell unsellable products, increase customer visits, promote a platform for ideas that promote reuse and build a community.


We came up with both a design for the Construction Junction space, as well as a marketing strategy for the DIY section's unveiling. Each of the DIY stations was highlighted within the store via a staple orange door featuring a DIY product and instructions on building it. We used an incentive system to motivate customers who submitted Idea Cards of products they've built to be featured on the DIY station by giving them free supplies for their next creation. Our biggest goal was creating a sense of community, and we were able to accomplish this by bringing various hobbyists together through the cyclical DIY idea submission and feedback process.


We performed contextual inquiries to understand the motivations of the hobbyists who shop at Construction Junction. We even put ourselves in their shoes by purchasing products from Construction Junction and creating a project. Many of the customers were big proponents of sustainability and environmentalism and were looking to make products that they not only could be proud of, but that promoted reuse. As a result, we developed a system that not only provided an external incentive system via free supplies, but that catered to the internal incentive of promoting reuse.


People love to BUILD, and MAKE...and they have various motivations. Some do it as a hobby, others to be more environmentally conscious, and to save some money.