How to determine objectives for knowledge production

Design is all about knowledge. Designers who are better at producing knowledge generally perform better. Therefore, it is worthwhile to streamline the production of design knowl­edge. This article explains how to determine objectives for knowledge production.

Steps

To determine an objective for specific knowledge, do the following:

  1. Find out what this knowl­edge means to your design practice.
  2. Determine an objective for the production of this knowledge.
  3. Extra: Set the priority for streamlining the production of this knowledge.

Find out what this knowledge means

For your design practice, seven sorts of knowledge are relevant. You can find out as follows what specific knowl­edge means to your design practice:

  • Is it essential? This is the case when designers in your practice must have this knowledge.
  • Is it scarce? This is the case when too few designers in your practice have this knowledge.
  • Is it unique? This is the case when other designers outside your practice do not have this knowledge.

A solution is easiest when the knowledge is neither essential, nor scarce, nor unique. But the downside is that this knowl­edge most likely does not make a difference. A solution is most difficult when the knowl­edge is essential, scarce, and unique. But the upside is that this knowledge most likely does make a difference.

Determine an objective

When you know what specific knowledge means to your design practice, you can determine an objective for its production as follows:

  • Reduce if the knowledge is not essential.
  • Maintain if the knowledge is essential, but not scarce.
  • Attract if the knowledge is essential and scarce, but not unique.
  • Extend if the knowledge is essential, scarce, and unique.

Extra: Set the priority

How to determine objectives for knowledge production indicates how to set priorities for streamlining the production. For instance, you can do this as follows:

  • No priority if the objective is to reduce.
  • Low priority if the objective is to maintain.
  • Medium priority if the objective is to attract.
  • High priority if the objective is to extend.
Objectives for the production of knowledge

Posted by Pieter van Langen