CAAD
Lehrstuhl für Computergestütztes Planen in der Architektur
Fakultät für Architektur / RWTH Aachen

CSNCW: Computer Supported Non-Cooperative Work

(Barriers to Successful Virtual Design Studios)

Plakat der eCAADe 2003 - Digital Design
The paper describes a design studio jointly undertaken by four Universities. With respect given to the groundbreaking work carried out by [Wojtowicz and Butelski (1998)] and [Donath et al 1999] and some of the problems described therein, the majority of the Studio partners had all had positive, if not exemplary experiences with co-operative studio projects carried out over the internet. The positive experience and development of concepts have been well documented in numerous publications over the last 5 years. A platform developed by one of the partners for this type of collaboration is in its third generation and has had well over 1000 students from 12 different universities in over 40 Projects. With this amount of experience, the four partners entered into the joint studio project with high expectations and little fear of failure. This experimental aspect of the studio, combined with the “well trodden” path of previous virtual design studios, lent an air of exploration to an otherwise well-worn format. Everything looked good, or so we thought. This is not to say that previous experiments were without tribulations, but the problems encountered earlier were usually spread over the studio partners and thus, the levels and distribution of frustration were more or less balanced. This raised a (theoretically) well-founded expectation of success. In execution, it was quite the opposite. In this case, the difficulties tended to be concentrated towards one or two of the partners. The partners spoke the same language, but came from different sets of goals, and hence, interpreted the agreements to suit their goals. This was not done maliciously, however the results were devastating to the project and most importantly, the student groups. The differing pedagogical methods of the various institutes played a strong role in steering the design critique at each school. Alongside these difficulties, the flexibility (or lack thereof) of each university’s calendar as well as national and university level holidays led to additional problems in coordination. And of course, (as if this was all not enough), the technical infrastructure, local capabilities and willingness to tackle technological problems were heterogeneous (to put it lightly).
Autoren: Russell, Peter, Elger, Dietrich & Stachelhaus, Thomas (Russell Stachelhaus )
Erschienen in: Digital Design (21th eCAADe Conference Proceedings)
Seiten: 59-66
Ort: Graz
Land: Österreich
Jahr: 2003
ISBN: 0-9541183-1-6

Zusammenfassung

The paper describes a design studio jointly undertaken by four Universities. With respect given to the groundbreaking work carried out by [Wojtowicz and Butelski (1998)] and [Donath et al 1999] and some of the problems described therein, the majority of the Studio partners had all had positive, if not exemplary experiences with co-operative studio projects carried out over the internet. The positive experience and development of concepts have been well documented in numerous publications over the last 5 years. A platform developed by one of the partners for this type of collaboration is in its third generation and has had well over 1000 students from 12 different universities in over 40 Projects. With this amount of experience, the four partners entered into the joint studio project with high expectations and little fear of failure. This experimental aspect of the studio, combined with the “well trodden” path of previous virtual design studios, lent an air of exploration to an otherwise well-worn format. Everything looked good, or so we thought. This is not to say that previous experiments were without tribulations, but the problems encountered earlier were usually spread over the studio partners and thus, the levels and distribution of frustration were more or less balanced. This raised a (theoretically) well-founded expectation of success. In execution, it was quite the opposite. In this case, the difficulties tended to be concentrated towards one or two of the partners. The partners spoke the same language, but came from different sets of goals, and hence, interpreted the agreements to suit their goals. This was not done maliciously, however the results were devastating to the project and most importantly, the student groups. The differing pedagogical methods of the various institutes played a strong role in steering the design critique at each school. Alongside these difficulties, the flexibility (or lack thereof) of each university’s calendar as well as national and university level holidays led to additional problems in coordination. And of course, (as if this was all not enough), the technical infrastructure, local capabilities and willingness to tackle technological problems were heterogeneous (to put it lightly).

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