The souvenir-industry has rised over a century ago and yet it has
hardly been challenged in the past decades. Often the industry tends
to look for inspiration in the local cultural heritage, historic
icons or even worse: by stereotyping a culture. All together a great
deal of themes which don’t tell us anything about the identity of the
community and his habitants.
Why can’t souvenirs be more grounded in their local environment and
be less superficial? Our motives for traveling have changed over the
passed decades: popular initiatives like couchsurfing and having a local
habitant as a guide shows us that the interest in cultural exchange is growing.
So shouldn’t local designers play a role in redefining souvenir items?
With my thesis I want to question what local identity still means in this
globalizing world. And how a traditional object like a souvenir can
reinvent itself through design and new technologies.