This project was developed for CEDIM during my management as Director of the Industrial Design Department. My participation in the project was from Lead Designer, working with a team composed by senior design students.

CEMEX and CEDIM began this project with the purpose of discovering new opportunities around the use of concrete in product design. From a process focused on the human being and in situ interviews , CEDIM developed a series of products that deliver value to different stakeholders

The project involved the participation of five students from CEDIM Industrial Design Department, and was leaded by Christian Vivanco and Monica Silva with the intervention of Gustavo Maggio as CEDIM invited professor.

Year / 2016
Client / CEDIM for CEMEX
Team Members / Melissa Garcia, Alejandra López, Verónica González, Antonio Oliverez, Rodrigo Flores.

The Process

Starting with a human centered approach and developing field interviews, the design team gathered a complete understanding of the producers relevant daily life. From this research, possible outcomes of products to be produced would come to resolve to co-inside with these daily routines within the community. Its objective was to discover their needs, motivations and desires. 

A key aspect of this project is to ensure compatibility of the proposed designs with the focused daily life of the eventual user/consumer. With this in context several research exercises were carried, then recognising those desired attributes in already existing products; reflecting suitable and realistic scenarios.

In order to to conceive a product of empathetic relevance for the user it was fundamental to understand who the individual was; their life, their daily needs, their habits, aspirations and requirements to function efficiently.

Many sensory tests were designed and conducted with the proposed audience in order to comprehend both emotions and sensory information evoked by using different materials. Parallel to this, in-depth interviews and participatory observation were performed to understand deep memories and users meaningful experiences.

To conclude, three validation excersises were done using a selection of 100 successful concrete and non concrete related products sold in the market, which demonstrated the most desirable products for a potential consumer for CEMEX.

Finally, findings became key questions for the project that designers answered through their products.


Necklace and Bracelet Set
By Alejandra López

How might we design an object made of concrete that would be perceived the most ‘human’ way when in use?

Concrete is seen as a stiff and static material and is normally associated with construction; however, its flexibility and versatility to adopt different shapes, textures and colors make it share many human characteristics. The goal is to humanize concrete in order to bring people closer to it.

The set of necklace and bracelet intends to represent cement in a more feminine way. Therefore in this piece, cement is to be viewed as a material that can be soft and flexible, as it delicately interacts with the skin. 


Essential Oil Diffuser
By Ambrosio Flores

How can we expand the multisensory experience of the user when interacting with concrete? 

Modern day society is craving more experiences where they can touch, smell, taste and feel when interacting with an object. Concrete is considered as a cold and unnatural material, which is why objects can be designed with a more multisensory, natural and everyday approach to transform how concrete is perceived today. 

Scents bring back memories that transport us to places. Our world is moving so fast, maybe faster than we would like it to. Within this lifestyle it is important to take a moment to and make time for ourselves. The essential oils diffuser seeks to create this space anywhere.


Office Accessories Set
By Antonio Oliverez

¿How might we take benefit of the concrete’s aesthetics attributes when designing a product with utilitarian function?

The market offers multiple shapes inviting to touch. The contemporary user searches for flexibility in his products and freedom to influence in its forms. To find the way to generate new links and shapes to the concrete that express a language with visceral, reflexive and conductual sense for the user.

The concrete is presented respecting its personality through a modular block in various configurations. The Accessories Set uses the physical characteristics of concrete while the semiotics challenge the perception when interacting with other materials.


Desk lamp
By Melissa Garcia

¿How might we design objets that stimulate curiosity through sensations known by the user?

The contemporary customer has become more open to consume products that tells a story which
inspires and involves on the production process. Designing products that offer an emphatic experience,
encourage interaction and curiosity to know what’s behind.

The light bounces off of the circular reflector and achieves a lighted surface that is more sympathetic with the user and his environment. The user is able to adjust the lighting and surface depending on the different activities and
moments that may arise during the day.


Mezcalero Set
By Verónica González

How might we design a product that promotes an emotional connection based on the exchange of knowledge?

Storytelling products promote an emotional connection with the user. The formal language of an object carries intrinsic cultural content of its place of origin. The exclusivity of these characteristics and its added value due to its context make these products special.

Mezcal is a mexican beverage, part of a ritual full of beliefs and traditions in constant transformation. The Mezcalero Set consists of a drinking vessel and two canteen dishes that delight this experience.