A Co-Design Experience: Technology Design for Coffee Production | 2019 Edition


Silvia Buitrago

Silvia Buitrago 

🚨Application to the 2022 Co-Design Experience here 🚨

In the Civic Media and Space Enabled groups, we are exploring new theoretical frameworks for design, and novel design education methodologies that serve a future celebrating the pluriversal (Escobar, 2018) rather than the universal. 

The “Co-Design Experience: Technology Design for Coffee Production” is a program exploring this concept. During IAP 2019, this experience  convened 16 participants from seven countries to explore technological, social, and business solutions for small-scale coffee production along with coffee growers in rural Colombia. The course was a unique, multidisciplinary, multicultural design experience in which people came together to co-design technologies and to connect with rural coffee growers inventive practices in rural Colombia.

The course immersed participants into different agricultural practices, primarily coffee growing, as well as in the ontologies traditional to these practices. In an effort to expose participants to non-mainstream design methods and mechanisms of invention, our research team focused on surfacing local knowledge through research materials and hands-on activities. 


Anping Wang

Through this interaction, new design exchanges appear, allowing participants to add to existing local invention processes or spark new ones, building directly from the optics of coffee farmers. As a result, participants were able to collaborate and design together with farmers on a variety of technologies including add-on systems for low-cost coffee roasters, sensorized beehives and honey presses among others. 

This course was offered in January, IAP 2019. A new iteration will be offered from January-June, 2022. 


Escobar, A. (2018). Designs for the pluriverse: Radical interdependence, autonomy, and the making of worlds. Duke University Press.