:: Specific Design Brief
Equipment - further information
PRODUCT DESIGN – TEXTILES KENYA
- POTENTIAL PROJECTS
Other ideas that have been tried
Cost and tradition are the vital marketing ingredients. Production is usually
producer-driven not consumer. People produce what they have been taught to
produce and don't often look for innovations. They have to be convinced that the
improvement suggested will work and won't cost them too much.
The Kisumu Innovation Centre manager, Martin Osumba, talks almost wearily about
the efforts they have made to change people's thinking. There is an experimental
bicycle rickshaw at his workshops. Although these have been successful elsewhere
in the world, it has not caught on in Kenya.
They have also tried using panniers at the sides of the back wheel to carry
baggage but again this has not been an accepted innovation.
What materials and skills are available locally?
There is no problem finding appropriate metals for adapting the bicycles. Small
motors are not available locally but there are people with skills who could
probably make them, given appropriate parts and training.
The people may not be innovative in terms of ideas and designs but they
certainly know how to make the best of recycling materials, including metal.
Although most work is done by hand, there are workshops around where there are
electrically-driven power tools such as pillar drills, welding and cutting
tools. There are skill centres where people can be trained.
Sewing and textile skills are also available. The cushioned seats (made from
foam) are made locally.