Design Harvests in short for ECSEL application


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DesignHarvests project aims to achieve sustainable and fair social and
economic balance between city (Shanghai) and countryside (Chongming
Island). We provide design solutions to bridge the proactive citizenship that
looks for the immaterial values of local production (food, crafts, heritage
artefacts) with networks of villagers which production is soaked by heritage
values, social meaning and quality factors, but is normally exploited by
current urban sprawl. Therefore our design actions mainly based on
participatory processes have social and cultural impact.
Our entrepreneurial moves lack of strategy and are affected by the slow
mechanism of academic funding. Moreover, we are convinced that the
challenges of social innovation need to be explored by business perspective
in order to achieve significant material and systemic impact. Ecsel
represents a truly valuable occasion for our team and network of partner to
improve the design practice at the crossroad between academy and

Published in: Design, Technology, Real Estate
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Design Harvests in short for ECSEL application

  1. 1. sustainable communities between city & countrysideby StudioTAOof TEKTAO Urban Planning and Design, Shanghaiproject partners:DESIS Network Design for Social Innovation and SustainabilityCollege of Design&Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai francesca valsecchi ECSEL 2012 Second Round Application February 2012, Shanghai
  2. 2. research based design intervention in the rural China,that aims to achieve more sustainable and fairsocial and economic balance between city and countryside.With our design practice we are experimentingat crossroads of academy and industry,and we involve stakeholderfrom both research and business fieldsin the social innovation challenges and impact.
  3. 3. bridging the city and the countryside through heritage, knowledge & resources exchange 38C 0M 100Y 0K 171R 208G 55B HEX #ABD037 60C 51M 51Y 20K 102R 103G 102B HEX #666766We push alternative We involve local Who benefits:sustainable proposal communities in the proactive citizenshipfor contemporary urban design actions. that looks for localsprawl. We design immaterial values (food,We work to find communication, crafts, heritage artefacts)bottom-up sustainable services and experiences and local farmers,developing way contributing to craftsmenby “design thinking”, reconstruction of that produce withto integrate urban and knowledge identity heritage values,rural resources. by the villagers. social meaning and quality factors.
  4. 4. 3 ongoing main projects remraf agri-culture design mobile technology based crafts heritage food culture &Seeds Seedsproduction by by community services preservationSeeds Seeds by by by by Seeds by Two piece of land where Extended research Several bamboo approach with the local farmers and prototyping crafting workshops the concept and practice of technology based systems Seeds by around the islands by of organic based agriculture (mobile, internet of things) and some new crafts objects and explore to support co-designed direct farmers-citizens rural-urban connections wvith the artisans market space (ongoing research partnership with nokia) (last harvest production: rice)
  5. 5. how we workWe develop designconcepts andprototypesthrough in-depthdaily field work, field work interviewsdesign and planningof services,communicationstrategy and tools,networking,small scaleproduction. ongoing ethnography prototyping participatory co-design events
  6. 6. current distribution & management systemresearch project outcomesdissemination outcoms marketspace taobao distribution online shop and market We recently opened internally our taobao shop for managed manage distribution. hand-made Not fully satisfied packaging by remote interactions. bamboo crafts city sustainable new partners markets and new projects public events We participate to We believe local based dissemination public events in city, entrepreneurship activity followed by rice farmers market, sustainability is as positive mechanisms fairs, and by this we grow for social innovation projects. senior research material the network of stakeholders. We continuosly look for members production new partnerships, of the team collaborators, direct contacts and investors & committed of ideas and money. knowledge stakeholders design production seeds We mainly distribute directly to people, within harvests network of interests where book to promote the cultural values of the products. international research funding city potential academic customers investments networks & partnership presence conferences and journals publications
  7. 7. team and organization structure business management 38C 0M 100Y 0K 171R 208G 55B HEX #ABD037 60C 51M 51Y 20K 102R 103G 102B project research design & management HEX #666766 team development lou yongqi studio tek studio tao professor architecture design cynthia xu project assistant department department francesca (myself ) research coord. employees 5+ serena service design project coord. & interaction diego research&design research projects joey lei research&designemployees 15+ zhu mingjieurban planning projects designer jiang lina economic flows designer team structure and competences scientific support universities & international research network
  8. 8. business current impactoutlines constraints evaluationin few words well known what we considerwhat we want limitations and positive indicatorto achieve weackness point of successcreate organization increase ofsmall scale economic participation tovaluable market space self-indipendence events we organize,based on trust (size constraint) number of fellowscreate better organization market penetrationa culture of the local structure among and distributionamong the ciy research and efficiency of firstcommunity management experimental harvestof consumers departments productionenvision lack of structure in capacity to finda proactive idea market strategy next fundingof market in whichconsumers foster entrepreneursbecome users partnership
  9. 9. future works We have two main tasks for the near future. Our cooperation with the farmers will extend to small production in greenhouses; we aim to push one step forward the use of natural basedgreenhouses cultivation techniquesexperiment in the village among the villagers. Also, we will complete the design a collection of bamboo weaved objects; together with the farmers we would combine and share the knowledge of crafts expertise and design skills.bamboo craftsco-designed collection
  10. 10. designharvests@gmail.comhttp://designharvests.com