InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 5 No. 1 Innovation through Knowledge Transfer 2013
Volume Editors KES International
Journal ISSN 2051-6002
Article TitleThe AGA Archive: An Innovative Application of a Business Archive as an Inspirational Resource for Designers
Primary AuthorShane Walker, BIAD, Birmingham City University
Other Author(s) David Prytherch; Charlotte Whitehead
Pages 80 - 95
Article ID inkt13-008
Publication Date 21-Oct-13

The paper describes how the transfer of technologies and skills in management and prioritisation of a business archive can have a transformative effect on business practice, through the exploitation of a largely under-used or unrecognised company asset. Both the physical and digital material may be accessed for use in new product design and development and to deliver a cultural retail offer, via online platforms such as social media tools. Together with the more traditional approaches for producing marketing materials to inspire consumer confidence, this can reinforce credibility in the brand by harnessing the company?s heritage to provide a unique positioning against competitors. The project has identified that useful knowledge can be ?locked up? or inaccessible within archives, even when described through traditional cataloguing systems and that the application of visual technologies can uncover new and valuable information that would otherwise remain undiscovered. This information should have implications for new product design, business strategy and development, marketing and sales. The process of digitisation can itself uncover knowledge of design practice, research and development work from prior company history which can be of immense value to design teams involved in new developments, as well as underpinning and reinforcing brand image and integrity. By using web based systems of controlled image communication, remote design collaborators such as SME suppliers, can be kept up to date with newly discovered archive design documents, images and style references, PR and marketing can freely access historical material to support their specific sales campaigns, whilst the legal department can refer to past design development when establishing evidential trails. This KTP with AGA Rangemaster plc is a work-in-progress. The paper discusses some early significant outcomes from the work, including some unique knowledge transfer opportunities.

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