Patty Johnson Interview Part 4: Opportunity in Guyana

Establishing a role for a Canadian furniture designer in Guyana.

Qasim Virjee
Patty Johnson, Elise Hodson
March 2006
© 2006, Design Exchange. All Rights Reserved.


Establishing a role for a Canadian furniture in Guyana

"We started talking to USAID, which is the United States Agency for International Development who run quite large projects in Guyana. They run them in a variety of sectors including fisheries, timber, health and safety. They're all running service programs and we talked to them about running a furniture program aimed to create an export product line and aimed at a launch. Initially when we wrote up the terms of reference it covered my costs for a year working on the product lines over a series of visits to Guyana. We proposed that I work with a couple of companies and at the same time work with some local manufacturers to improve their quality in the hopes that eventually they would come into the export market. Very soon after that project started, USAID expressed interest in actually expanding the project to include a market launch in New York. The project was put together as something that would span about a year and a half starting with product development, trying to address some of the needs of the local market and ending with a launch in New York. We are now two months away from the launch."

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