J. Mendonça

Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais - UEMG (BRAZIL)
The present work aims to analyze how local producers, non-designers, could use design method and tools to develop new innovative and creative products, specially related to food.

A multidisciplinary group focused on information and education would be in charge of the project. A small group of producers, of a predetermined region, would be taught how to use methodologies and tools commonly used by designers as a way to add value to products and innovate on reusing food residues. The work aims to create a conscious on small producers about their culture, identity, environment, knowledge and reutilization of raw materials, nutritional value and benefits for health of various foods, along with the acknowledge of topics still not explored by the local producers, such as slow food and food design.

The project begins with the identification and selection of local producers who commercialize typical handmade food.

The second phase consists on teaching how to apply the design method, starting by the investigation of local identity.

In third phase the products manufactured and its lifecycle would be analyzed, as well as their economical and marketing advantages and disadvantages.

In a fourth phase new products would be development according to the previous research.

In the end the most adequate projects to be produced will be chosen according to the local identity, public and the selling point selected.

Considering the social nature of the Project, partnerships must be created with distributors and retailers enabling the access of the new public to the products, in addition to disclosing the project for the population.

Methods and tools used by designers are thus powerful ways to make local craftsmen vary their production. The main idea of the project would be, then, formulate a course that would be taught to different groups of producers, not depending on the kind of product, as long as it’s related to food or domestic utensils.

Using this method would be possible to inform and educate artisans, adding value to the products they sell, since the shape and presentation of it. Adopting the new guidelines of product development, producers would work better and have better results, what mean an economic gain for a significant part of the workers all around the world.