Product design, master studio 2014, 4 months

SUPER LOCAL

How could businesses and destinations work together to create something truely representative of the place in question? This is the story of how souvenirs could actually tell a story. With the help of a tiny, pink clog factory.
We have all seen them. In Norway, it's the Trolls, the viking ships and the helmets with historically incorrect horns. In Paris it's the Eiffel tower key chain. In London, the phone booth snow globe. Millions of dollars are spent on these babies. So why are souvenirs so horrible? Super Local rethinks how we think about souvenirs, and proposes a recipe for how we might do it better.
The summer of 2014 I travelled around Norway, on what might be called the route 66 of my home country. The highlights were lined up like teenagers queing for Justin Beiber tickets. From warm, green fruit hamlets in Hardanger and crystal clear fjords in Flåm, to crisp mountain air in the majestic troll-like Jotunheimen and sandy beaches at Giske, just outside the west coast city of Ålesund.

It's hard not to become inspired by what you encounter on a trip like this. Not just because it's all so painfully beautiful, but because it's so easy to spot the potential. What could be. As creating human beings we start to imagine and generate ideas of an exiting potential future. Usually we leave it at that, and hope someone else will see the same thing and act on it.
But more often than not, nothing happens. The empty spaces stay empty, the local stories stay local, and the communities keep missing out on tourism revenue. And you think to yourself; Don't the people who live there see the potential?
Super local is a method for how to spark and inform development of souvenirs. It consists of three manuals and a studycase in the form of a pair of clogs. 

The manuals inform how you might detect potential in the local history and identity, in order to develop a souvenir that actually tells a story. The clogs are a story in themselves.
1. Designer One manual is for the designer responsible for the project. This manual takes you through the generating model and helps you uncover that hidden gold. 2. Municipality The second manual is for the Municipality. This manual is simply a trigger to identify the problem and create exitement over what potential your municipality has. 3. Example-case
 The third manual is the story of the case-study: Eik's clogs in Hovsherad.
The case in this project, Eik's luxury Clogs, is one of these pearls with obvious potential if treated right. It also happens to be situated in my home town, the tiny village of Hovsherad. For Eik's, as for many others, visits from tourists are declining. 

Could an object - in the form of a souvenit - help them get the attention they deserve? 

To show how the method from the manuals work, Eik's luxury clogs was used as an example case. A pair of modernised clogs was developed to serve as limited edition souvenirs.
The slipper form communicates usage for short distances. Signature stitch. Form connected to history
The new form of the sole gives opportunity to tell the backstory of the shoe’s form. Leather. Connects to the industrial history of the area. Signature loop stitch. Every worker on the factory has his or her own.
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Copyright © 2016 Inger Steinnes