Ken Pickar
Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering

California Institute of Technology
208 Gates-Thomas, Mail Code 104-44
Pasadena, CA 91125
(626) 395-4185


E/MedE/ME 105

Background Materials

E 102

E/ME 103

Useful Links




E/ME 105: Product Design for the Developing World

Trips to Guatemala (Student Trip Reports)

Febe Aguilar (Landivar)

  1. The importance and the influence that the costumes and believes has in every day life of this communities, the impact this main two have on what they crop, eat, cook, and how they are use to do this things and more.

    The strength and the will to stand out, that courage that will to do things that may seem impossible.

  2. More time, I felt like everything was in a rush. Nest time bear in mind the season of traveling because this time we found a lot of precipices; witch took us more time than expected.

    Rent one bus so that every one can share and get to know each other better as a group.

  3. Materials: maybe some recyclable materials or make them more comfortable for the user.

    Transportable Machines: this communities live sometimes in small reduce places and maybe it would be easier for them to adjust the machines to a place where is easy for them to get to and do their other duties also.

    Simple and intuitive mechanisms: the designs have to be understandable for every user; this will facilitate the use and the mechanism.

  4. The bici-machines, is amazing how they transform this kind of power in to their own benefit.

  5. Knowledge about their culture so that we can adapt the design to this and these way it won’t affect them in any way.

    In my case that my inclination is for looms trying weaving helped me a lot to understand and feel the pain and unconfortableness of this process. Also try how to wrap string was a good experience because now I have a better idea of what are the problems I need to solve.

  6. Yes, because I wanted to learn more about my people and their culture and I did in fact not only learn but also experience their situation.

  7. I would prefer more demonstrations on how they work and try doing it too, to have a better idea of the processes, the problems we need to solve and how can we help.

  8. Ask more questions about their culture and how this influences in their job, what are they willing to change and what not.

  9. Maybe more economical information, but the rest I think is very complete.

  10. I love the experience of meting new people of different cultures, seen new places, experimenting new things such as poverty, the latrine for 3 days, the food, planting, the Mayan ritual, and much more things. I didn’t hated the trip I just think it was done in a very short time and we didn’t get to enjoy it that much because must of the time we were exhausted. Everything else I loved it.