In this project, I explored the phenomenon of tacit knowledge.
Tacit knowledge is defined as knowledge that is captured through our body, i.e. our senses, and practical experiences.
Thus, this knowledge has not or cannot be made explicit and is driven by experiences.
Product Design does not communicate with words either but through the shape, colors, textures, or materials of the product itself.
My aim in this project was to convey tacit knowledge by taking advantage of Product Design. I developed a product that imparts a swimming technique to beginners through its shape and usage. It helps swimmers to learn the breathing technique of crawling.
The swimmer puts his (fore)head on the convex curved surface while Wavelet points into the swimming direction. He pushes it through the water and the propulsion as well as the big front surface produce a bow wave. As a result, a wave valley rises. The resulting lower water level allows the swimmer to breathe in easily.
Movements and sports techniques are based on practical experiences, and thus, on tacit knowledge.
Wavelet is a product that interacts with us.
Without mentioning the swimming technique explicitly, it navigates us in our movement, and helps us internalizing it, so that we are able to perform it later on without the swimming aid.
Product Design gives us the opportunity to form and influence tacit knowledge.
Bachelorthesis in Industrial Design
University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Florian Petri