Product development is an important element in current efforts to find ways to improve livelihoods and preserve cultural identity among rural low-income artisans in less developed countries. A number of designers are applying their skills in the alternative and ethical trade sectors to increase the capacity of artisan groups to enter new markets. In their work as product development consultants, these designers provide advice or training or facilitate learning that is critical for rural artisans to adapt their traditional skills and knowledge to make marketable products.
This report is based on research into the experiences, views and insights of product designers who work with artisans. Their work takes place in many different countries and situations, yet there are common concerns, including the difficulties artisans confront and the complex issues involved. This report is intended to prompt further discussion about the issues and practical approaches needed to promote the well-being of artisans and their communities.
The report is focused on the contributions of North American consultants to handmade artisanal product development and marketing. Most of the consultants, based in the United States, were contacted through the cultural organizations, The Crafts Center in Washington D.C. and Aid to Artisans, Hartford, Connecticut. Several of the designer consultants are Canadian. Twelve recorded interviews, additional conversations and consultants’ written materials form the basis of the research material, which was collected between Septemb...
Africa, Aid to Artisans, America, Artisanal, Artisans, Asia, Bolivia, Canada, Canadian, Design, Designers, Development, Ethical, Handmade, India, Laos, MAIWA, Mali, Mexico, Peru, Product, Turkmenistan, United States, Washington