Practice Based Research

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The practice based work is based off on the findings of the research and looking ways to disseminate the overarching themes and concepts that emerged. So that the targeted groups of the study could benefit from its findings as well as other stakeholders. I believe the practiced based work clearly validates the purpose of the research in making them aware of knowledge management concepts which they are not related to at all. So the first and the foremost intention was to look into the area of how to popularize the concept of knowledge management and make artisans, designers and craft organizations aware of it.

Undoubtedly through such attempt they will be able to understand and realize at the same time the growing recognition for traditional knowledge as well as the importance of making cultural based product developments. Through the findings of the study, it was evident to me that all groups favoured tangible knowledge acquisition – dissemination methods which implied that providing visual aids could arouse the interest and enthusiasm of the targeted groups. Not only that they prefer interactive design projects.

This led me to ask from the craft organizations about their existing visual aids and other promotional materials they use to educate the artisans and get them familiarized on product design developments and design interventions as a means of improving their aesthetic process. The answers received from the selected three craft organizations again varied. However none of the organizations used any interactive educational/ promotional materials to assist them in the design development projects or to help them understand design and knowledge sharing acquisition process.

One organization that uses an educational approach use some form of a process based work that uses interactive materials to an extent. This was evident by the answer provided by one of the guest lecturers of that institute where he explains that providing a list of guidelines; a set of objectives to meet which is reviewed by the director of the institution has been set off. And teaching happens while taking references from the local culture. And this is followed by publicizing DVD’s on traditional crafts with interview of master craft person on certain occasions.

However the other two organizations are not using any form of visual aids at present. One of them has created some movies and power point presentations with the help of design interns. And the other organizations do their own interpretation as per needs and the artisans mostly follow the “vernacular” language. One of those presentations were sent and after reviewing it it was evident to me that the content was about the history – process of making which was done based on a lot of ‘academic- industry specific jargons’ and that it cannot be related to artisans at all. This signifies the absence of interactive materials apart from movies.

With respect to the infrastructural – educational facilities it was evident that the use of computers and other electronic apparatus is a scarce resource and is not a method favoured by artisans where they mentioned audio and video as the least method they would like to assist as a learning material. Within such context it was evident to me that an interactive educational material carrying a lot of visual references could be a valuable stand point to help artisans, craft organizations and designers to digest “knowledge management process and related tools and techniques”.

Further it will enable me to present a more generalized approach to all, so that each could replicate and manipulate the process in their own context to suit their structure. Through this each group will be able to contribute to a sustainable development strategy through better awareness of what to ask and what to do at each situation. The survey results and interview analysis provide a knowledge gap which resulted in having miss communication between each groups.

If improved communication can be delivered it will allow breaking this barrier and letting information and knowledge flow freely during interventions. So that either the taking part individuals are seasoned professionals or just novices, everybody would be able to understand a generalized knowledge management process. Also the proposing methodology follows a simplest process which all the parties could accompany with less recourse, mostly utilizing the existing resources.

So that active engagement can be encouraged at all levels through better understanding of the process. One of the reasons for this expression of work is my observation and understanding of the rural craft sector; where most of the strategic implementations are only carried out by knowledgeable people and then imposing a set of actions on artisans. And artisans are reluctant to follow a naive programme which is far from their context and tradition.

To minimize this adverse effect an interactive educational material could help artisans to understand and practice on their own more robustly. Targeting all groups -synchronized educational/ promotional materials are designed with a digital platform. The online presence needs to be developed further in a later research. However such materials will enable better informed decision making to be taken in cultural based product design developments and thereby safeguarding traditional knowledge for succeeding generations.

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