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  • 2019GalaboPhD

    Final published version, 128 MB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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A framework for improving knowledge exchange tools

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2020
Number of pages371
Awarding Institution
Thesis sponsors
  • CNPq - Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Knowledge exchange involves sharing ideas, expertise and approaches among individuals, communities or organisations within an open design space, such as workshop-like events. These spaces enable people to engage collaboratively in the design and decision-making of projects, programmes and policies that affect their lives, where tools are often used to support creative engagement activities that aim at achieving a desired outcome. However, many generic tools or prescribed tools do not fit to skills or expectations of those participating in knowledge exchange processes. One approach to design better creative engagement is to improve tools for specific contexts as well as the flexibility in tool use to fit different design practices. Within this scenario, this thesis proposes a framework to improve tools as a response to the research question: How can knowledge exchange tools be improved? The framework called Improvement Matrix was built through a literature review on the knowledge exchange approaches of co-design and participatory design, and tested in practice through a series of workshops as part of an action research. Drawing on the theories and practices of designing tools, the framework was tested through three case studies, where engagement practitioners genuinely interested in improving tools to develop their practice, co-designed improvements of tools using three dimensions within the overlapping practices of planning, facilitating and doing activities, providing evidence to develop a deep understanding of the proposed framework. In conclusion, the review of the case study findings with experts in participatory design approaches and tools, suggested that the developed framework was useful and applicable to a variety of knowledge exchange practices, promoting new ways of thinking about the design of tools and workshops. Further research involves exploring the framework with designers, practitioners or other design research areas to see how it would work in practice, tracking changes in the framework over time.