February 27th Market Workshop
Master Gabriela Corral
Azuay University & Cuenca University
The 15th and 16th May of 2017 I lead a conference and a workshop “Introduction to Design Thinking” targeted to students of graphic, interior, industrial and fashion design from “Cuenca University” and “Azuay University” in Ecuador.
The goal was that the students have an introduction to the design thinking process. In the workshop, the problem we were investigating was the condition of the “February 27th Market”, a small market located in the city of Cuenca. Even though Ecuador has a large production and a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat and grains, a lot of markets are disorganized, unsanitary, and the infrastructure of the place hasn’t been adapted to its real needs. The project seeks to observe and analyze the place and suggest a holistic innovative proposal that presents solutions based on our own culture (as we have usually used foreign proposals that do not match up to our reality).
The 30 students were divided into 5 groups, and each one selected a different part of the market to work with. The first group chose the dining hall, the second the produce section, the third the juice section, the fourth the meat section and the fifth the cooked and dry grains area. The first day we worked together on dynamic activities in order to create a friendly and collaborative atmosphere between the participants. After the briefing, each group began to brainstorm and generate games; by the end of the day, each group showed their first solutions to the rest of the group in order to get feedback. The next day we made a field visit to the market in order to see if these solutions worked in a real context, the students observed the space, the products, the problems, they spoke with clients and the owners of the stands and we went back to work. All the groups adjusted their first ideas, designed the solutions, and made a final presentation following a summary of their analysis and proposals.
Group 1 – Dining Hall
Team: Sofía Jaramillo, Israel Marín, Daniel Peña, Brenda Arias, Andrés Torres and Sebastián Cadena.
Problems: Bad distribution of the space. Disordered storage for kitchen tools, food and cleaning utensils. There does not exist signage. There seem to be nonexistent health standards.
Solutions: We propose a redistribution of the space with multifunctional furniture to organize all the products and tools, this allows for the easier identification of each stand’s goods. The new stand materials and design will allow the owner to also have an easier time cleaning and facilitate the draining of black raw sewage. The iconography is inspired by the typical dress of the market and will be accompanied by an organic logo and sans serif typography.
Group 2 – Produce
Team: Sofía Guzmán, Daniel Solano, Mariangel Espinoza, Ninoska Merchan, Geovanny Gavilanes, Jessica Codejón and Carolina Toral.
Problems: Shortage of space, corporate identity, signalization, packaging, illumination, furniture, uniforms, not an ergonomic space and there is a big waste of plastic bags.
Solutions: For the packaging we propose a basket made with palm leaves to help the clients transport their purchases in a comfortable way. In the stand the products will be exhibited in baskets made out of palm leaves and cane. The products will be sold in biodegradable bags made out of fruit waste.
For the stand we designed a multifunctional island that will help to create a better system of circulation and use of space. The products will have a signage next to space for the price of each item.
The uniforms are inspired by the chola cuencana scarf, a traditional costume of Cuenca, but made out of smart textiles that repel water, fire, and keep the person fresh and clean. A waist bag will help the merchants to collect the money; it will have a space for each coin denomination.
Group 3 – Juices
Team: Gabriela Valdivieso, Natalia Vélez, Carolina Soto, Bryan Cherrez, and Anabel Guzmán.
Problems: Furniture, sanitation, organization, cleaning, lack of information and graphics.
Solutions: We designed an ergonomic stand made out of bricks (a traditional construction material of Cuenca) in order to have all the materials organized and near the owner. The stands’ graphics are inspired by the “pollera” (a traditional skirt of Cuenca). As packaging, we propose a glass that the client will pay $1 for, and they can choose to return it or keep it as a souvenir. If they want to take the juice to the house, a glass jar will be offered. The name of each stand will be the owner’s name and the name of the juices will be inspired by common urban sayings. The juices will be accompanied with an informative tag of the benefits of the fruits and vegetables used. As a uniform, we propose an apron made out of a vinyl textile anti-fluid and that will have a sublimation of the pattern.
Group 4 – Meats
Team: Luis García, Valentina García, María Paz Moscoso, Esteban Vásquez, Josué Calle and Andrés Maura.
Problems: Sanitation, transportation of the meat, presentation of the products and conservation.
Solutions: We propose a stand that will help to have a better distribution of the products, and strict areas for cutting, exhibition, packing, and payment. To keep the products fresh, we designed a wrapping paper with funny urban sayings on it. A uniform made out of leather will help the owners to have regulations on their dress and will provide a towel to keep the butchers clean.
Group 5 – Cooked and Dry Grains
Team: Mariuxi Muñoz, Gustavo, Juan José, Katherine Benavides and Elisa Gutiérrez.
Problems: Disorder, sanitation, bad conservation of the products, and missing a circulation and exhibition space.
Solutions: For the dry grains we propose a piece of shelving made with plywood and acrylic compartments with three different levels that will facilitate the storage of 15 grains. Each grain will be signalized and sold in a reusable jute bag. Additionally, people could make an exchange of seeds in each stand, an ancestral tradition of our region. The morphology of the shelving is inspired in the Chacana, an ancestral iconography that represents the four cardinal points and the four-year seasons that rule the sowing and the harvesting period.
For the cooked grains we propose a stand in an L-shape, where the upper part will work as an exhibition of the products in two levels, with a little inclination that will drain the excess water of the products. There will be a fridge part where the cheese and salads (products that are always sold next to the grains) will be placed in clay containers, also a relic of our ancestors.
It is important to be aware that each group had just two days to make their proposal.
If you are interested to create this kind of workshop with your company, university or organization do not hesitate to contact for more information.
Thank you for your interest.