Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Some more notes about Knowledge Management and Construction

I received an email about resources. Here's my response...

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There are some other resources you may be interested in for a DI approach. You should check out the proceedings from a recent ASCE conference:

Molenaar, K.R., Chinowsky, P.S. (2003). Eds. Construction Research Congress: Winds of Change: Integration and Innovation In Construction (Proceedings of Construction Research Congress, March 19-21, 2003, Honolulu, Hawaii; Sponsored by Construction Institute - Construction Research Council, American Society of Civil Engineers; Construction Engineering and Management Program, University of Colorado at Boulder)

Some papers of interest include:

Agent-Based Document Control for Large Projects by Michael Terk and Arun Kumar Srinivasan

An Architecture for Knowledge Management in the AEC Industry by John I. Messner

Designer Construction Knowledge and Its Effects by Leslie C. Battersby and J. K. Yates

Another paper of possible interest:

Soibelman, L., Kim, H. (2002). Data Preparation Process for Construction Knowledge Generation through Knowledge Discovery in Databases. Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 1, January 2002, pp. 39-48

Personally, I became disenchanted with the difficulties of modelling knowledge using reductionist technological approaches. Useful knowledge just seems to squish out of the confines of artificial ontologies... and all ontologies are artificial. Working as an engineer in construction and industry I noticed that the knowledge, information, and "truth" that we exchange don't necessarily follow rules specified by business models, codes of conduct, and legal guidelines.

I've forsaken my Civil Engineering degree and turned to the social sciences and humanities for help. My interest has shifted toward how information is actually exchanged in construction settings and how that information attains validity. If you're interested in issues of knowledge fabrication in science and technology, I highly recommend these --non-engineering-- resources:

Knorr-Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures : how the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Knorr-Cetina, K. (1981). The manufacture of knowledge : an essay on the constructivist and contextual nature of science. Oxford: Pergamon.

Latour, B. (1987). Science in action : how to follow scientists and engineers through society. Milton Keynes: Philadelphia.

Star, S.L. (1995). Ed.Ecologies of knowledge : work and politics in science and technology. Albany: SUNY Press.

Bowker, G.C., Star, S.L. (1999). Sorting things out : classification and its consequences. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Bowker, G.C. (1994). Science on the run : information management and industrial geophysics at Schlumberger, 1920-1940. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Kranakis, E. (1999). Constructing a bridge : an exploration of engineering culture, design, and research in nineteenth-century France and America. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Vincenti, W. G. (1990). What engineers know and how they know it: Analytical studies from aeronautical history. Baltimore; London: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Good luck with the thesis!


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