Vernacular Products: An Example to Circular Design
Authors: José Vicente
Abstract: Throughout most mankind’s history our daily life artifacts have been designed, produced, and used with respect for social and environmental constrains and within the carrying capacity of ecosystems. Also, they have been created to fulfill tangible and specific needs (not desires) of individuals and communities to their daily tasks and have sustained a thorough process of evolution and adaptation to the cultural and environmental context and, so, have been perfected over time. It has been only with the technological and cultural changes implemented with the industrial revolution that several unbalances have been created in the relation between our material culture and the natural world. It stands to reason that there are lessons to be learned from those previous times, from their habits and, with a design perspective, from their products. This paper presents an analysis of vernacular objects identifying design features related to morphology, functionality, production, material, and use. This text presents as case study a set of vernacular objects from the rural life collection of the Portuguese National Museum of Ethnology. The analysis was made with support of literature, drawing and photography, and adapting some examples from previous studies of vernacular heritage and architecture. These products serve as example of the incorporation of circular product design strategies.
Keywords: Product Design, Circular Design, Vernacular Products, Sustainable Design, Vernacular Design
Cite this paper: