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Product Design Junior Presents Winning Proposal at Amtrak Design Charrette

Brandon Bauer Amtrak Charrette Winner
Pictured Left to right: Sam Garst, Tim Bullock (Amtrak On-Board Services), BreAnna Bechtold, Brandon Bauer, Kristin Kopple, Arcangelo Guida, Robin Kohles

October 14, 2019

Product Design junior Brandon Bauer presented the winning entry for the best potential sustainable delivery solution to Amtrak’s design charrette Food Delivery Design with Amtrak – Get Carried Away during the 2019 DesignPhiladelphia. The design charrette presented 20 industrial and product designers with the challenge to develop the best and most sustainable way to transport meals to customers in Amtrak’s sleeper cars’ bedrooms.

Charrette participants were welcomed onboard trains at the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station and given one hour to draw and ideate a proposal to develop a device that helps Amtrak staff carry four meals and four drinks from the kitchen to a sleeper car’s bedroom on a moving train. “One of the waiters problems was that he found it necessary to carry all of the meals and drinks at once, with only one hand being used, as the other hand has to be used for stability just in case the train moves or his balance shifts,” Bauer noted. “Immediately after analyzing my possible solutions, I realized it would be possible to make sort of like a caddy or carrier system for all four meals and drinks that the waiter can hold by his side.”

Brandon Bauer Charrette Design

Bauer’s proposal included a detailed drawing of the device used to carry the meals and beverages. “At the very top is the handle of the caddy, and below the top layer, two meals are held in place with the designated constraints of the trays that AMTRAK already determined. Each side of this layer actually has hinges on it so each wing holder can be collapsed and packed away. This is the same for the second layer as well,” Bauer explains. “As for the third layer with the four drinks, each cup holder will be universal and be able to carry many of the different arrays of drinks. From beer bottles to a wine glass, they will now have the ability to carry it all. I decided to place the drinks at the bottom of the design so the caddy had some sort of center of gravity while it was being held by the top handle. With the majority of the weight being in the liquid, the caddy will keep itself balanced in pendulum while being held at the handle. Not to mention, under the drink caddy is a flat bottom that allows the waiter to place the entire carried on the floor if need be.”

Bauer’s winning proposal has been passed on to the Amtrak team running the contemporary dining program for evaluation to assist the company with solving food service delivery challenges in their evolving on-board customer experience.