PhD Program in Design


Designing process and narrative with local agro-industrial byproducts.

Designing process and narrative with local agro-industrial byproducts.

Ana Lima


How can byproducts of local agro-industries be used as source material for associated product development?
How should the underlying narrative of this process be communicated to its potential consumer segments?
How should the aforementioned questions be calibrated in order to contribute to a global network of byproduct design?

Agro-industrial production leaves enormous amounts of biomass-based byproducts.
There has been an increased interest in the recovery, recycling and upgrading of agro-industrial byproducts by the biodiesel production, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Agricultural practices have used these byproducts in animal bedding and feed, in fertilization/composting and in combustion as fuel for their own uses. The present research wants to revisit and converge these two practices through Design and by contributing to the envisioning of “clean” production processes.

The aim is to create unique objects with agro-industrial byproducts bound with biodegradable compounds (alternatives to petroleum-based products) – designed as biological nutrients, according to the Cradle-to-Cradle framework. To explore their sensory nature in order to enhance the intrinsic meaning that stems from their geo-cultural provenance. To increase a semantic awareness of the local economies, both internally and as a narrative brand that can be maximized internationally. This may be anchored in the current “quest for authenticity” that flourishes as a paradoxical and concurrent antidote to digital culture: a return to objects, prime sources, meaning through gravity.

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