Timeline | 2 weeks

Project | Community school project

My Role | User Reserach | UX / UI Design

Platform | Website | Tablet

Team Member| Dionne Mok ( UX / UI designer), Hyojin Lee (Graphic designer), Funan Fina ( Industrial designer)


What is A Bowl of Comfort

This conceptual project was to contribute through our knowledge of the Vancouver downtown east side community regarding preparedness for unpredictable disaster in the city. And we believe that Congee/Porridge defines as a food of resilience. Therefore, we design an service that contributed into two parts: Emergency cooking kit and Mobile cart , which using congee as the comfort food to prepare future disaster and have a better community practice in the downtown east side of Vancouver, BC.

My Role

User experience & Interface Design
Using design methods to fight complexity and break problems into an easy-to-use solution. Created a service system that will able to run in a cycle for unpredictable situations. 


How might we build communities practice before and during an unexpected disaster event while providing comfort activities to adapt and fit different cultural contexts?

How might we prepare people for a safe space and provide emergency resources for people during a disaster situation?


Project Theme 

Disaster Preparedness Kit and Station for the DTES Communities in Vancouver BC

When during an unexpected disaster event, people could face intense or unpredictable feelings. Especially without any internet access or not able to respond quickly to such an event. We believe that we could provide workshops and space that offer training and comfort room for all kinds of people to prepare for unpredictable disasters.

Warm, Nourishing, Comforting, Sharing

Let me introduce Congee Project:

A Bowl of Comfort



The prototype begins at the home screen, and then brings awareness to the importance of preparedness for unpredictable disaster in the city. 



The website provides multiple language translations for different user cultural backgrounds. Hover on the flag button to switching between different languages.



The service section gives details and information on how the emergency kit and mobile station service works.



Both online and offline guidebook allows user to have a digital copy for individuals and have more accessibility when they don't have a physical copy of the guidebook in-hands.

How did we got there?

What to Design

I spent my childhood in Hong Kong with my family before coming to Canada. In both places, congee was ubiquitous but unremarkable, the kind of meal served as a stopgap against hunger. I remember we eat congee, not matter for sickness or enjoyment. My family and I have always had these wonderful memories of congee that have given us warm, and comfort.

I grew up eating rice porridge/congee, and every cultrue has its version.

We believe that Congee/Porridge defines it as a food of resilience. Congee is known worldwide and eaten by every culture; it is a very sustain food, and the simplicity of cooking methods. Therefore, Congee gave a strong ability to adapt to disaster preparedness and fit in different cultural contexts and a better community practice.


Research ( Question Mapping )

To understand how we could design better for people, we sketch out a list of principles to consider before making decisions on how we could achieve our goal of building a resilience space for all kinds of people in the DTES community.

Insight :

- We find people lost judgment when facing unsettling emotions during an unexpected situation.
- Educated people through a workshop could help people to prepare unexpected situation.
- DTES is an entire community of people coming from different cultural backgrounds, and languages are a barrier to some people in the community.


Design Goal


Welcome for different cultures, gender and race/ ethnicity.

Considered usability across different channel, including saturation without internet.

Share resilience together as a communities.

Understanding what is out there ( a day to forage outside )

The forage activities were to understand what natural resources out there for the locals to forage into the emergency kits. We did in-depth research on the types of grain, and the location of the plants are in Vancouver. The researches allow us to organize the information we need to include inside the emergency kits.

(More research: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12fJRttBdiYyWf9WnsVFQctf6r9_TwNDNQSy8abq3lrE/edit )


- Blackberry could easily found around the Vancouver area.

- Vancouver rains continuously during seasons. Waters is very rich natural reasons provide many values to our city. We could provide more opportunities to use the rainwater for our communities. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BqQ_KvMeGM)

- We found that there are lots of community gardens available in the city. It will be a great practice for the communities to support and encourage environmentally and socially sustainable activities. We recognize that it is important to provide a space for the communities to create a supportive resiliency throughout the city during a disaster time.


Concept Ideation


Mockup for the emergency cooking kit

Frist, we planned and sewed a mockup to check patterns and parts locations.
Before, we start sewing the parts together. We made a sample mockup for testing
We picked a waterproof , and reuseable material as the kit
We asked to help a professional sewer for the finial mockup-double side zipper
We visited the sewing shop for multiple times and here is the completed verison
Amazing work from Funan!

Service System 

WorkShop (Before disaster)

The workshop "Congee Day" will be running three days a week in 312 main. Users who participated in the workshop can have a free congee meal. In the workshop, the user will share information about receipts and ingredients of congress. And will be able to gather together sharing a meal. The new member will be able to receive a congee kit at the end of the workshop. The user will be gathering grains into the congee kit until the next workshop day.


Mobile Station (During disaster)

The mobile congee station will be located at 312 main. Volunteers at the station will be using the grains user gathered inside the congee kit to cook congee. The mobile station is actively participating in congee-making indoor and outdoor events - it is approaching to design a portable station that can be easily transported in the city. The station contains rainwater filter storage, cooking pots, and emergency cooking kits.


Solution A : Emergency Cooking Kit




Not only digital but a physical kit will get infromation into each induvidals about supplies, avaiable resources, and about the importance of the community.

Solution B : Mobile congee cart



The Mobile Congee Cart is actively participating in congee making indoor and outdoor events - it is approaching to design a portable station that can be easily transported to share resilience to the communities.

Solution C : Digital Service



The website provide options to switch languages for non-english speaking user to minimize barriers of miscommunitcations. 


Showcase day

It was a pleasure to able to present/ showcasing our conceptual ideas of "A Bowl of Comfort" to the 312 main & Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs buildings.

We were excited to receive a lot of positive comments from the audience. And we are all proud of delivering the amount of work during a very short period of time. ( two weeks - no joke !)



01. Understand our privilege and how can we make contributions

It was a great prvillage for us to use our design skill sets to given back to the community we all love. Realizeing the how much values we can share with the community.

02. On multi-taksing and time managment

The project was met with a lot of time and resource constraints. But with well-organized project management, we were able to spread the tasks equally while given each other feedback with the team. We managed to get ahead of the time towards the end and made physical printable materials for the audience.

03. Game chang·er

I am grateful to have been with a team that prioritized inclusiveness design. The diversity team allows me to realize lots of new perspectives outside of my box. The team is such unique characters that no data could possibly quantify in a couple of numbers. ( We have an industrial designer, communication designer, and me as an interaction designer) Meeting one-of-kind, passionate individuals from the same school changed how I look at my design decisions and user's need.

If you like my work, drop me a line to say hi.
I’m currently seeking for a full time position as a UX / UI designer at an agency, tech company and, game company.



Designed with love and effort - © 2021 Dionne Mok.