Impact of Interactivity and Collaboration in Architectural Studios: the study of Cognitive Science, Architecture Theory, And Collaborative Design
[Name of the Wrier]
Background of the study
There is a feeling among many design educators today that the discipline has reached a crisis in its development, and that change is needed immediately in the way that design educators articulate their epistemology and their methodology (Pirolli & Russell, 1990: 121). The architectural studio can be seen as the model for design education, and its culture is exemplary. Donald Schön (1984: 2) has often argued that the professional education of architectural students - and other design students - should be aimed at making them into 're?ective practitioners'.
At the core of his argument is the idea that design education must sacrifice intellectual rigour in order to achieve social relevance, yet critics have argued that this trade-off has caused design education to be marginalised in relation to the university model of education (Carbonell & Etzioni, 1991: 51).
Geographically distributed and digitally mediated work environments raise new questions about how we create, communicate and represent designs collaboratively. Recent technological innovations in visualization and communications have fostered diverse forms of remote collaboration, which exacerbate the complexity of the design process but simultaneously provide immense opportunities. Our concern here is how the digital environment might enable new modes of creative, embodied “making” that are materially and experientially distinct from those in a conventional design environment.
Most literature on digital mediation presupposes the digital medium as a simple extension of a Renaissance-based or Cartesian mode of vision, that is, “a direct continuation of the tradition of illusionist pictorial representation.” In describing his design for the Ultimate Display, computer programmer Ivan Sutherland claims that “the screen is a window through which one sees a virtual world. The challenge is to make that look real, act real, sound real, feel real.” At the centre of this presupposition, often unacknowledged, there lies the epistemological assumption of Cartesian dualism. Some key figures such as Michael Heim went so far as to say that "in cyberspace minds are connected to minds, existing in perfect concord without the limitations or necessities of the physical body." Furthermore, this Cartesian ontology perpetuates hierarchical human-technology relations where technology becomes mute and merely a tool. If a disembodied view is one's only access to what is assumed to be an immaterial space, subjectivity, the body and vision itself would remain unaffected by the digital medium.
Critiques of the Cartesian perspective of the digital environment often come from a phenomenological tradition and as such maintain the phenomenological understanding of embodiment. These critiques presuppose that the body at its core of experience will remain distinct from technology and impervious to the digital medium. Both sides of this argument fail to recognize the digital environment as having material, social and cultural dimensions, and leave out the question of mediated embodiment and subjectivity. They are thus not capable of fully addressing the potentials and limitations of so-called “dematerialized digital imagery (italics ...