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 eastside community regarding preparedness for unpredictable disasters in the city. And we believe that Congee/Porridge defines it as a food of resilience. Therefore, we design a service that contributed to two parts: An emergency cooking kit and a Mobile cart, which uses congee as the comfort food to prepare for future disasters and have a better community practice in the downtown eastside 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 be 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 being able to respond quickly to such an event. We believe that we could provide workshops and spaces 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 get 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 warmth, and comfort.

I grew up eating rice porridge/congee, and every culture 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 very sustainable food and simple to cook. Therefore, Congee gave a strong ability to adapt to disaster preparedness and fit into 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.
- Educating people through a workshop could help people to prepare for unexpected situations.
- 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 to different cultures, gender, and races/ ethnicity.

Considered usability across the different channels, including saturation without the internet.

Share resilience together as a community.

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

The forage activities were to understand what natural resources are 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 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 be found around the Vancouver area.

- Vancouver rains continuously during seasons. Waters are 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 to share 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 of 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 information to each individual about supplies, available resources, and 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 with the communities.

Solution C: Digital Service



The website provides options to switch languages for the non-English speaking user to minimize barriers to miscommunication. 


Showcase day

It was a pleasure to be able to present/showcase 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 privilege for us to use our design skillsets to give back to the community we all love. Realizing how many 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 giving 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, a communication designer, and me 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 link my work, drop me a line to say hi .If you link my work, drop me a line to say hi .If you link my work, drop me a line to say hi .



Trying to become a better designer everyday !


Trying to become a better

designer everyday !


© 2022 Dionne Mok - Designed with love and effort