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