Interdesign Mexico 1978

Alternative energy Sources: Wind and Solar Energy for Use in Rural Areas in Mexico, Mexico City (Mexico)

16-30 November 1978

Interdesign ’78 was organised by the Colegio de Disenadores Industriales y Graficos de Mexico, A.C. and sponsored by UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) with the support of Mexican Public Institutions, other Mexican design organisations and Icsid.

The theme, ‘industrial design using solar and wind energy’ was chosen in response to the situation of increasing demand for energy sources at the time. This was in the face of decreasing resources, such as petroleum, and the technical problem of extracting or transforming alternative sources involved with hydroelectric and thermo-nuclear power, and bituminous sands. Only a few countries were able and willing to produce the necessary energy requirements. Needless to say, this situation was in dire need of careful scrutiny and resolution.

The Interdesign’s programme included discussion of the practice of design, a visit to technical centres and solar energy sites, workshops, and final presentations and conclusions.



This group’s task was to devise simple, uncomplicated structures that people can build themselves, either attached to their existing rural homes, or freestanding in groups and/or clusters, as well as means for collecting heat from the sun to provide warm water.


The groups focus was on technology transfer study, and implementation of design innovation. They analysed and presented the difficulties of the introduction of a foreign technology to a community.

Grain Drying With Solar Energy

Emphasis was on various systems and structures for coffee and grain dryers, using solar and wind energy. Group 3 designed a grain drying system according to functionality, stability, expressiveness, and constructiveness.

Biomass Digester

The task was to devise digesting systems for waste. The group came up with a digester design that allows for changes of materials and dimensions to be applied in accordance with the specific needs of each location.

Wind Pumps

These were required for water transfer and to serve as generators for local electricity supply. The group designed a wind powered water pump.