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The challenge of the codification of tacit knowledge in designing and making: a case study of CAD systems in the Hong Kong jewellery industry

By N. Siu and C. Dilnot


Using the separation of designing and making activities in quantity-production systems of the Hong Kong jewellery industry as a case, this paper will show that codifying the tacit knowledge into the CAD systems is becoming deliberately feasible when the tacit knowledge are converted into accessible and applicable formats without losing its distinctive properties. The contextual analysis of the conventional jewellery production systems indicates that the separation of knowledge leads the consequence and the problems of partial representation. In order to study how the tacit-format attributes, which were separately contributed by the jewellery designers and goldsmith, can be extracted, recaptured, recorded, integrated and finally coded into CAD database, a project of scanning a hand-crafted 3D object was initiated and implemented. The successful result of the tested project not only demonstrates the feasibility of codification of tacit knowledge in design representation, but also gives a strong theoretical foundation of the extendibility of both tacit and coded knowledge in a design perspective.

Topics: Attributes, Codification, Craftsmanship, Implicit and Tacit Knowledge, Partial Design Representation
Year: 2001
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