We are living in a time of tremendous challenges and opportunities. Who we are and what we create through the process of change and design innovation has never mattered more than right now. In the urgency of this reality, a group of the world’s most respected design masters are joining forces to form a new professional design institute called KNOWEDGE. We are inviting a select group of leading international environmental designers and related experts to join us in this not-for-profit think tank.

EDGE is an acronym for Environmental Design with Generative Expertise. Merging KNOW and EDGE symbolizes the power of our many years of combined experience in originating a profession where communication defines and develops places. As successful practitioners in facilitating human connection to a place, we bring unimagined possibilities to life and have a direct impact on the individual experience of people and the well being of their communities. KNOWEDGE offers us the opportunity to openly share our perspectives and collaboratively develop future visions. Speaking with a united voice will give us power to inspire the next wave of innovative projects – not only someday, but now. NOW is a significant part of our name. KNOWEDGE sounds like “no edge,” looks like “knowledge,” and feels like anything is possible.

We are an experienced and wonderfully diverse group committed to creating a better future. Our advisory team includes design professionals whose average experience is over 25 years each. Their practices represent a relevant combination of expertise in fields of: environmental design, interactive design, industrial design, landscape architecture, cultural anthropology, filmmaking, engineering, technology, education, fine arts, design curatorial and the development of design programs.

Our greatest strength is our ability to work collaboratively to generate effective communication and community-based solutions within many diverse environments. This is the heart of KNOWEDGE: experts with deep knowledge coming together in partnership to focus their breadth of skills on a single issue. It is a powerful way of creating purposeful change that balances design with science and technology.

After the first planning session of the advisory team (March 2010), KNOWEDGE is developing the schedule for the first in a series of participatory “design summits” that bring design thinking to bear on specific issues of need. We’ve also been establishing curriculum along with a mentorship program so that the next generation of designers will learn from our unique experiences.

The KNOWEDGE office is located in Seattle, WA. We are very fortunate and honored to be in close proximity to the Sara Little Turnbull Process of Change: Laboratory for Innovation and Design (formerly in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University) and her Center for Design Research (est. 1954). Both of these internationally recognized design resources are available to KNOWEDGE members by appointment and will soon be made available to other design scholars and educational institutions.

More details on the benefits and vision of KNOWEDGE follow, as well as an introduction to the current advisory team.

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