Cross-cultural Co-creation of Indigenous Knowledge Management System

By Kasper Rodil (PhD in progress)


Kasper Rodil2Indigenous elders in Sub-Saharan Africa have for decades transferred valuable cultural and local knowledge to youths through interpersonal interactions in collectivistic rural villages. The youths are now sent to the capitol to study a modern? Curriculum as directed by governmental rules and regulations. Previous attempts to preserve and facilitate this knowledge transfer have proven unsuccessful in terms of Western design thinking and lack of understanding of limitations and unique opportunities embodied in a cross-cultural collaboration. The project investigates the potential of digital 3D visualization as opposed to trad. Database systems/search-by-term libraries to facilitate knowledge transfer between indigenous groups, and how it can play an intercultural role as a shared language in co-designing knowledge transfer systems.

Since 2010 I have experienced a successful impact on two parallel tracks in prototype development to combat these limitations. Firstly, by focusing on bridging a digital, linguistic and textual gap between developers and elders with 3D visualizations. This research was originally intended as an end-solution, but has now shown as a potential source of communication between various stakeholders. Secondly, by acknowledging localized knowledge and the important interplay of culture, people and the context in early steps of the development. The methodological approach is through Participatory Design, which emphasizes development with the users – not limited to prototype evaluations and usability, but in every step important to strive for creating an egalitarian design process. Through prototypes in Android and Unity3D (game engine) on various devices, and based on the impact with the village elders the project is intended to continue contributing to this corpus of new knowledge of designing interactive systems.  visit

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