From process to product
This five-day workshop at Hadassah College Jerusalem centred on the College's third year industrial design students. Working with Shekel, a non-profit organisation employing adults with special needs, the aim was to design a new portfolio of products for an organisation whose main product range centres on ceremonial candles, sewn items, soap and contract assembly for electrical components.
The walls at Shekel display examples of artworks by their beneficiaries but none of Shekel's products incorpoarate these in their designs or packaging. Graphic design elements are produced by professional designers in Shekel's graphic design department.
In the brief for the workshop, the students were asked to design the production process to reflect this and to embed error and difference as a positive feature and also to use the creative assets of the beneficiaries in their final product designs. In any work facility employing people with learning disabilities the challenges of producing saleable products of consistent quality and design are manifold.
The group visited Shekel and studied the capabilities of the workers and the equipment to gain an understanding of the limitations and possibilities, particularly relating to the production process and maintaining quality control. The students learnt that Shekel was soon to acquire a laser-cutting machine.
The students were asked to design a signature product or family of products. The brief stipulated that the students had to design the manufacturing process itself and create design guidelines so that quality could be maintained by Shekel. In addition they were asked to design an identity to help market the products.