Changing the Role of Design Knowledge: Towards a Holistic Approach

By Alaa El Anssary.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper proposes that integration between different kinds of knowledge is needed in design practice towards a more holistic approach. It outlines an approach that can enhance the synergy between innovative business opportunities and design, with focus on the strategic and practical role of design knowledge in businesses and organization. Hypothesis of the study is that design knowledge has a strong meaning for the small and medium-sized enterprises today. In many cases the interaction between design knowledge form different disciplines can contribute positively to businesses and add a new value proposition for the organizational design knowledge. Based on the analysis of the findings and insights from case studies, this paper presents ‘How’ the role of design knowledge is changing in companies. The paper then goes on to integrate multiple knowledge domains that serves the process of new product development. A holistic view comes from recognition of design knowledge in the context of this interaction. The paper concludes by emphasizing the greater need to understand the strategic role of design knowledge on the different levels of an organization.
This paper involved a number of research methods: (1) Survey of 17 design offices and companies (mostly small and medium-sized from Germany and Egypt). (2) Case studies from product and furniture design areas. These were carried out through questionnaire and in-depth interviews with companies to identify how they use design knowledge when setting strategies.

Keywords: Design Knowledge

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.9-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.238MB).

Dr. Alaa El Anssary

Lecturer in Design, Department of Product Design, Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University, Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

More than 12 years of experiences in design process sector (Product Design and Interior design) and in the high education field in Egypt and Germany: > Member of scientific staff at the department of Product Design, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Arts, German University, Cairo [GUC], Egypt > Member of scientific staff at the department of Interior Design and Furniture Design, Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt. > Member of the first international group of Doctorates to work at and to be involved with the foundation activities at the Institute for Ergonomics and Design Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. My overall research interest is to support designers with additional skills which will be needed in the future. My motivation for Design Research is based on the idea that a fundamental change must take place in design education to take advantages of the global opportunities. Designers are facing common global challenges which need to have more studies on opening new channels of successful communication.


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