Experiments in design process and product development in Uganda’s ceramics.
Kayamba, William K.
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To evaluate the challenge of design, product development and practice in ceramics, in Uganda, a study of the Ugandan common designs processes and product analysis was undertaken, since 2001 to 2012, largely in Kampala and the suburbs and Western Uganda. The study consisted of both local hand and machine assisted product processes to provide a wider picture of production of what was being undertaken by the pottery strata. The pattern of the potters and their product was somewhat associated with the levels of understanding of their materials, the community they worked in, and the general clientele. Practices in ceramics continue to face challenges in terms of marketing local products given the trends of designs and the influence of pervasive global village. What it translates to is that Ugandan potters need to compete far beyond what had been the original practices some of which have lived for generations. The kinds of design processes employed by most potters tend to be erratic with minimal input in terms of design process and market survey. What most potters have tended to do is to copy whatever is being floated on the market without questioning its viability and sustainability. However, this paper argues that the consumers themselves are not enlightened enough to see the wrongs in some of the product durability and design. It seems that the costing of the product have somewhat undermined the need to develop products that are beneficial to the community for longer than the shelf life.