Journey of Jerrycan, Sustainable Local Product Design Development for SMEs Designers :A Case study from Kampala, Uganda

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Master's Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability
In this sustainable era, the main questions and aims of the work of designers and non-designers should focus on how products must be designed or redesigned to promote sustainable development. This thesis research is a holistic process of product design development, especially aiming at active local designing. The key point of this Sustainable Local Product Design (SLPD) is to objectify local cultural values and integrate them as a part of the whole design process as much as the designer (and non-designer) can accept, or is capable of doing. This is in order to examine how Design for Sustainability (DFS) processes can change and become customized according to local conditions, and also reveals what designers can do for the local and what can be taken from the local. The major aim is thus to pursue potential local sustainability in given local conditions. In SLPD, the crucial core of the whole research is to maintain and extend the lifecycle of the products, which could be designed with cultural and, social values. The project’s process aims at merging the local culture into physical, locally designed-products as designers actively learn from local community members.The structure of this master’s thesis consists of three main parts which are a research, field research and sustainable design strategy. The target area of the field research, named by Beam project, was Uganda, East Africa. In the process, jerrycan, which is a plastic water canister, was the main material for SLPD and a symbol of local water problems. At the same time, all designed products from jerrycan are strongly related to social issues, such as water issues, education and transportation. In the end, SMEs (Small and Medium-size Enterprises) suggest, applying the design to a simplified product service system by connecting real stakeholders and then evaluating the design and the system based on a simply optimized assessment tool for the design process as a sustainable design strategy.
Pekka, Korvenmaa
Thesis advisor
Peter, Kalanzi
Sustainable development, Sustainable Product Design, Local design, SMEs (Small, Medium size Enterprises), Cultural value, PSS (Product service system)
Other note
  • Exhibition 1. Fashionshow in Uganda 2012 2. Uganda art festival 2012-2013 3. Exhibition at Caisa gallery in Finland Sep.2013 Production Uganda local production with local and international NGOs Product sale Finland designshop in Helsinki "Momono" video link