Catadores de Sonhos programme

The programme called ‘Catadores de Sonhos’[1] has as main objective to promote the socio-economic inclusion of the garbage collectors who are part of the ‘ASMARE association[2] ‘ through the development of products and other design actions with an ecological and sustainable appeal, to be produced and commercialized by the association, in order to become a future alternative income source for the garbage collectors involved in the project.

Projeto Catadores de Sonhos: Design e dança para o bem-estar social from Estúdio Grampo on Vimeo.

The methodological procedures used included the active participation of the garbage collectors, the undergrad scholarship holder students, and also other guest contributors and allowed the integration between the society and the university, promoting academic learning and citizen education of the scholarship holder students.

The Association had in its portfolio the Sustainable Event -a waste management service with trained staff and infrastructure. The first design action aimed to provide more visibility for this service, having as reference the tripod of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental factor were developed:

Visual identity:

Included the brand logo and its various applications


Garbage collectors (large and small):

The front has space for visual information that didactically induces the correct disposal. It can be printed as a banner exclusive for each event in which they are being hired.

The collectors are made from the process of milk and juice cartons recycling, creating a strong and resistant mixture of aluminum and polymer, this is a sustainable material that does not lose any properties in contact with rain or sun.

The design proposal is modular and can be used only in one unit or in groups of two or four. In order to make the logistics accessible, it was designed to occupy the minimum space in the truck.

At the second phase of this programme we work with another a demand from ASMARE, in which the group wishes to have their own products made with recyclable materials collected by their associates – especially the ones with lower commercial value for the association, such as, wood – so they could produce, commercialize and have an alternative income source to the garbage collection.

The commercialization of these products could give more autonomy to the members and improve the living conditions of the people involved with the activities of the association.

As a result, three products were developed so that the association can produce and commercialize them:

Corporate gift:

Vira seis (6 games in 1):

Iconic object holder:


We could, through the design, contribute, somehow to the improvement of the life quality of the collectors, with the amelioration of the association. This programme was according to the Plano Nacional de Extensão: that aim for an indissolubility between teaching, research, and extension. This articulation created not only a socio-technical impact but also personal and social ones, generate knowledge and dialogic relationship with the society, once we put into practice what we have learned in the university, through the direct contact with an external audience. 

Book published with a demonstration of results obtained with the extension project: “Catadores de Sonhos” (The Dream Catchers)

Key achievements:

• Worked directly with the design team creating products and graphics solutions to serve as an alternative income source and support for families with social vulnerability in Brazil.
• As an Assistant Coordinator, I was responsible for strategic planning assigning tasks to the team, direct communication with stakeholders, and ensuring quality and consistency.
• Award-winning Project by the UFMG in 2014.

[1]For more information about ASMARE visit:[1] The programme called Programa CASOS: catadores de sonhos, 2015-2017, was realized with resources from MEC/SESu, counted on the participation of the professor coordinator, seven scholarship holder students and one designer. For more information about the Programme visit:

[2]For more information about ASMARE visit:

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