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

Creating Place in the Virtual Design Studio

Autoren: Russell, Peter (Russell )
Erschienen in: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on ComputerAided Architectural Design Futures
Seiten: 231-242
Ort: Eindhoven
Land: Niederlande
Jahr: 2001
ISBN: 0-7923-7023-6


The current wave of attempts to create virtual design studios has demonstrated a wide range of didactical as well as computational models. Through work performed over the past year, an evolution of many of these concepts has been created which fosters a sense of place. This aspect of place has to do with identity and community rather than with form and space. Initial virtual design studio projects were often merely a digital pin-up board, which enabled distributed and asynchronous criticism and review. However, the web sites were more analogous to a directory than to the studio setting of an upper level design problem. The establishment of a truly distributed design studio in the past year, which involved design teams spread over three universities (not parallel to one another) led to the need for an independent place to share and discuss the student's work. Previous virtual design studios have also established web sites with communication facilities, but one was always alone with the information. In order to enhance this virtual design studio and to give it a sense of place, a studio platform that serves as a console for participants was developed. The console is a front end to a dynamic database which mediates information about the participants, their work, timetables and changes to the dynamic community. Through a logon mechanism, the presence of members is traceable and displayed. When a member logs onto the console, other members currently online are displayed to the participant. An online embedded talk function allows informal impromptu discussions to occur at a mouseclick, thus imitating ways similar to the traditional design studio setting. Personal profiles and consultation scheduling constitute the core services available. Use of the platform has proven to be well above expected levels. The students often used the platform as a meeting place to see what was going on and to co-ordinate further discussions using other forums (videoconferences, irc chats or simple telephone conversations. Surveys taken at the end of the semester show a strong affinity for the platform concept in conjunction with a general frustration in pursuing collaboration with low bandwidth communication channels.