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26 July 2015

In Focus: CESAR

They've developed a smart fridge, water-saving systems for irrigation and have tackled the drop-out rate in Brazil’s public high-schools, among many other projects. We talk to CESAR, a design firm and consultancy based in Recife, Brazil.

How was CESAR founded?

CESAR was ideated and created within a quite special context: a group of computer science professors from the Federal University of Pernambuco were concerned about the impact their work could have on local and national industry, and realised it was necessary to bridge the gap between industry and academia - that was rather unique for the Brazil in the 1990's.

Back then there were not enough opportunities in Pernambuco for the students who came out of the Technology courses of UFPE. After graduating, those students used to leave the state for opportunities in other states and other countries.

CESAR - the Center of Research and Studies in Information Technology - was created, where those students could apply their knowledge.

From the start, CESAR was conceived as an innovation institute, even before this term became largely used. It is a living organisation, which evolves very quickly without forgetting its original mission and values.

Which recent project or client has been particularly challenging or inspiring?

The project Rural Connected Schools, developed in partnership with Telefonica Foundation, consists of bringing innovative educational methodologies to multi-graded schools in the countryside of Pernambuco state (Vitória de Santo Antão). Find more information at:


CESAR's e-reader, developed specifically for the Brazilian market.

CESAR’s work focuses heavily on innovation. Is there anything unique about your organisation which facilitates you to keep creating new ideas and solutions?

Since 1996, CESAR has helped companies throughout the innovation life cycle - from the study of contexts, design and prototyping ideas, to developing solutions in various sectors.

CESAR’s innovation process is based on the user-centered design principle. We believe Information and Communication Technologies serve people, within specific contexts, purposes and strategies, and that the user experience success is absolutely crucial.

We believe innovation is made with people, so they are CESAR's most valuable asset - and we rely on a multidisciplinary team in order to provide effective solutions to complex problems: not only software engineers, but designers, psychologists, journalists, economists, and various other professionals are part of our project teams.

Where do you think the strength in Brazil creative industries lies? Are there any points of weakness?

Besides the rich cultural production in Brazil (music, film, design..), a great advantage of our creative industry is that we rapidly adapt to changes, facing global and local adversity. It’s the country of the “natural born hacker”.

Thanks to Ana Paula Gaspar, Karina Spinelli and Aldreycka Albuquerque for chatting to us about the organisation. CESAR continues to be part of our 3x3 Hubs Exchange programme, which has twinned hubs in the UK and Brazil. See more of their work at