An international team of six academic researchers and eight industrial designers gathered insights; employed distinctive contextual awareness and empathic understanding to generate product ideas; critically reflected on the proposed designs; visualised creative product concepts; and globally disseminated the outputs from the action research study as a design tool, video and website to maximise impact.

Timeline of events

Nov 2016
Nov 2016

Best practice case studies

Case studies were collated to identify best practice in the commercialisation of indigenous crafts and materials from Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia and Turkey.


Co-design workshop

A week-long workshop at Loughborough University was attended by academics from design schools in the collaborating countries. Activities included country/regional contextualisation,  presentation of best practice case studies, identification of a country specific design opportunity and co-design with concept generation.


Design proposals

Having agreed to focus on product opportunities for the export market utilising indigenous crafts/materials, design visualisations were prepared for lighting that would be manufactured using simple metal fabrication techniques and locally available materials such as bark cloth and jacaranda wood (Uganda); imported generic watch mechanisms with distinctive straps from materials such as ostrich/camel leather and Maasai textiles (Kenya); bamboo seating (Indonesia); and packaging solutions to enhance the eating experience of baklava (Turkey).



Post-workshop review of theoretical approach and design proposals using SWAT analysis.

Cards - v6.indd

Card-based design tool

The project activities and outcomes generated resources that had the potential to be of value to designers, educators, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and policy makers. To translate these into an accessible and useable format, coding and clustering produced an order and knowledge framework that was translated by the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator into a design tool. The tool was translated into a fold-out card-based format and web resource. These were distributed to the academic collaborators and an identified contacts in the 146 countries on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) List.

May 2017
May 2017

Expansion of design proposals

Having reflected on the approach and outputs from the workshop, another phase of concept generation, development and visualisation was undertaken which took the total number of design proposals to 39 and increased the list of available distinctive indigenous materials/craft resources.


Project Video

The research process, design proposals and outcomes were translated into a project video to facilitate global dissemination.