Author: Bakhotmah, Fawaz Abid
Title: Supporting development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through culture-based innovation : expanding the Saudi national festival for culture and heritage into a national project for innovation and design
Advisors: Tang, Ming Xi (SD)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2020
Subject: Design -- Saudi Arabia
Culture -- Economic aspects
Technological innovations
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Design
Pages: 584 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: "Supporting development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through culture-based innovation" is a qualitative study directed toward decision-makers seeking solutions for development challenges. These challenges are, the economic diversification, the knowledge society stimulation, the design and innovation exploitation, and the culture and heritage utilization. However, the Culture-Based Innovation (CBI) is the outcome of a creative initiative that was launched in 2010 under the name Bellagio Mandala Group of Culture-Based Innovation. It aims to facilitate strategies and be a catalyst for innovative products and services that reflect the nation's culture and heritage. The researcher wanted to stimulate this initiative and highlight its reputation in relation to three issues: 1) the historical correlation between culture and development; 2) the design and innovation benefits from advancement cultural development ; and 3) the development challenges facing Saudi Arabia due to unclear of creative cultural production model based on innovation and design practice. One might ask the following questions: Is the researcher right in his approach about the conviction that culture-based innovation will be one of the suitable strategies to support development challenges in Saudi Arabia? And is it true that the advancement of Saudi culture and heritage through channels of innovation and design helps in finding various creative production platforms and a competitive economy? To answer these questions, the researcher had to build the thesis methodology on three levels. First, the cognitive level, which means collecting cultural data through creative ideas, innovation concepts, designing products, society's opinion, and the field observations. Second, the philosophical level, which means approving culture-based innovation through four field observations by using cognitive data that based on five stimuli: looking beyondness (apperception stimuli), realizing diverseness (analysis stimuli), expanding relatedness (augmentation stimuli), gathering logicalness (synthesis stimuli) and clarifying unknowingness (understanding stimuli). Third, the practical level, which means promoting the Saudi national cultural and heritage festival to be a development platform through cultural-based creativity, innovation, and design. The cognitive knowledge is based on Ibn Khaldun's civilization and urbanization thought, Malik Bin Nabi's thinking, things and human philosophy, and Paul Schafer's culture approaches. These approaches are culture as institutional, culture as practical, culture as theoretical, and culture as conceptual. To verify the significance of these attempts in reinforcing culture-based innovation, the researcher has conducted four field studies based on four cultural hypotheses. Each hypothesis is looking to approve that, the creativity, innovation, design, and the abilities of the talented has been one of the most important priorities that should busy the minds of decision-makers in Saudi Arabia, especially in relation to the development challenges by discovering the correlation between development and culture, and by the suitable cultural approach to activate developmental projects or initiatives. The first hypothesis is that the quality of development and its several outputs depends on the institutional approaches to reinforce culture, heritage, values, and the understanding of the related physical and moral issues (the institutional cultural approach). In order to confirm this hypothesis, Hong Kong was chosen as a case study. The observations commended that; the state must always be enthusiastic about choosing decision-makers with development skills based on those who can expand ideas and translate them into a basis of competitive economic and investment diversity. The second hypothesis is the material and immaterial sense of the communities' daily culture and heritage depends on the society's ability to activate what it possesses of the realms of community, ideas and objects (the practical cultural approach). To examine this hypothesis, the famous Muslim Quarter of the Chinese city (Xi'an) was chosen as a second case study. This quarter does not stop at serving food, desserts, and beverages according to Muslim law (Halal). It is also a quarter that is studied heavily by university students, researchers, and interested people locally and internationally. This quarter is one of the main tourist attractions in China and one of two most famous attractions of Xi'an area, which are the Terracotta Army and the Old Muslim District. The observation admired the synthesis of the quarter community cultural ideas, towards using their religion and culture abilities in producing alternative and innovative economies.
The third hypothesis is that the qualitative encouragement of culture and heritage depend on the interest of the higher education in them (The theoretical cultural approach). To examine this hypothesis, the researcher has participated in the revival initiative of luxurious ancient Chinese silk at the Design School of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This initiative is a creative exhibition with the name "One Inch of Kesi Silk, One Ounce of Gold." The observation endorsed the ability of organizers to promote the artisans to negotiate the ways of silk revival within the community of designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs, which can lead to finding renewable domains that reinforce the role of this historical industry to be included within the creative ideas and the designs of innovative commercial productions. The fourth hypothesis is that the culture and heritage can participate in treating development challenges (economic diversification, knowledge economy, design policy, etc.) through creative cultural concepts (The conceptual cultural approach). To prove this hypothesis, the Saudi national heritage and cultural festival was chosen as a fourth case study in which the concept of culture-based innovation through scenario can be applied. The scenario is the art of perceiving the future rather than predicting or guessing it. It is a methodology tool in making decisions and putting a future strategy that suits the time and place. It is also a planning tool that helps in building a long-term view within a vague world through understanding today's alternatives. It also facilitates answering the study's questions through utilizing cognitive thinking level as inputs, the conceptional level as stimuli, and the practical level as products, services, or theories. However, the observation supported that culture-based innovation as a material and immaterial productivity thought to enhancement the festive cultural approaches to be a cultural catalyst for design based on articulating, translating, transforming, transcending, and collaging's thinking. Historically, culture had a strong connection to a nation's civilization and urbanization, as Ibn Khaldoun stated 600 years ago, and as Malek Ben Nabi and Paul Schafer discussed in their writings. Thus, this study approved that Culture-Based Innovation (CBI) can be one of the strategies used in supporting a country's production development, and competitiveness economy. However, Culture-Based Innovation needs creative thinkers who can interact with the cultural explicate and tacit knowledge. Consequently, the culture-based innovation knowledge should be analysing it from an apperception and augmentation vision, instead of, perception and imitation attitude. Subsequently, the analysed knowledge should be synthesizing through design and innovation understanding. On the other hand, the hypotheses of field observations approved that cultural approaches are a very enthusiastic way to monitor a specific cultural phenomenon. Under all these circumstances, the Saudi national cultural and heritage festival has vast opportunity to be expanded into a national project for innovation and design that will generate a new generation of Saudi skills in design and innovation. To accomplish this hope, the study has been summarized in comprehensive models, these models are: Culture Paradigm Shift Model (CPSM), Culture Bee Innovation Model (CBIM), and Culture Artificial Intelligence Net (CAIN). These models and others have been intensively built for those development decision-makers, educators, and programmers, which their societies are culturally rich and have intensive heritage resources. However, their opportunity is to generate productive cultural projects based on innovation and community participation through the alternative thinking that the researcher tried to be achieved through the methodology of this thesis.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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