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Virtual Design Studio

Virtual Design Studio

edited by Jerzy Wojtowicz
Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 202
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  • Book Info
    Virtual Design Studio
    Book Description:

    The Virtual Design Studio establishes a new paradigm for CAD, expanding computer tools beyond the technical processes of computer-aided design to include the discussion and negotiation which are a necessary complement to developing design ideas, thus introducing the concept that design is fundamentally a social process. This studio brought together students and tutors at Barcelona, MIT, Harvard, Cornell, Washington University, St. Louis, the University of British Columbia and the University of Hong Kong in one design exercise conducted over the Internet. The experience documented in this book points to a new way of practising architecture and a new way of teaching design.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-304-4
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
    Jerzy Wojtowicz
  5. Introduction to the Virtual Village
    (pp. 1-3)
    Jerzy Wojtowicz

    This title alludes to the long predicted, and now finally emerging condition of the global village. The term, initially used by Marshall McLuhan, describes a civilization where electronic communication media have dramatically reduced the distance and isolation of people from each other, thus virtually restoring the primeval sense of being of one tribe or village. Because of the proliferation of information technologies and the resulting acceleration of communication rates, the gap between thought and action is closing in the process of ‘retribalizing’ the world.

    Castell in turn argues that we are witnessing a second transformation of modern times.² The first...

  6. The Modernist Collectives
    (pp. 5-7)
    K.C. Lye

    The idea of collective efforts including collaboration, team work, sharing and propagation of innovative design ideas is characteristic of early design cultures, as well as our present one.

    Several earlier collective efforts in their most sanguine forms which have contributed to architecture and art in spite of their understandable shortcomings, were de Stijl, Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus, ClAM, Team X, and Le Carré Bleu. We could of course single out exceptional individuals in each of these groups because their work speaks very clearly to us now of their verve. Recently, as well, we have run the gamut of several agendas on...

  7. Digital Pinup Board — The Story of the Virtual Village Project
    (pp. 9-23)
    Jerzy Wojtowicz, James N. Davidson and Takehiko Nagakura

    On 8 February 1993, 54 students and tutors of architecture located in five separate universities began a joint two-week-long design experiment. The fact that the participants in this studio were located in four different time zones, thousands of miles apart, while addressing and resolving the given problem was in itself unusual and merits closer discussion.

    In addition to this rather curious dispersion, the participants relied to a great extent on the application of computational tools to design and on contemporary telecommunication and networking technology to bridge this evident gap of space and time.

    Geographically isolated, yet united by common conditions,...

  8. Kat Hing Wai and the Electronic Red Line
    (pp. 25-30)
    Davis van Bakergem

    Value added as knowledge is the essential purpose of a design endeavour, and design quality is dependent on the depth and breadth of the information and knowledge which designers bring to the design problem. No matter what the scale, the design process is inherently collaborative and interdisciplinary. It is rare, if not impossible, for a single mind to seek the problem, reveal interconnections, and propose, critique and refine design ideas. The interdependence of issues is especially apparent in urban design projects in which cross cultural collaborations as well as a broad range of disciplines are frequently required. As the complexities...

  9. Critical Reflections I
    (pp. 31-32)
    John Bradford

    As land prices in Hong Kong are among the highest in the world, making floor space for an architectural design studio comes very dear; and the money required for an educational excursion between Asia and North America is considerable, and for most of us, prohibitive. Thus, we were delighted with the prospect of providing students with a ‘virtual design studio’ that was 20,000 km in breadth and had fast, affordable communications.

    Five second-year and seven fourth-year students from the Department of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong participated in the Virtual Design Studio. Most of these students were ‘computer...

  10. Critical Reflections II
    (pp. 33-35)
    Renato Garcia

    At its inception, the Virtual Design Studio project appeared to be a formidable challenge. The spatial, temporal and cultural separation predictably gave rise to several difficulties, the least of which were technical in nature. Despite initial reservations, however, the project fulfilled expectations to a moderate extent.

    During the course of the project many technical difficulties had to be confronted and resolved. As a result architectural issues rarely surfaced and opportunities for discussing or exploring them were minimal. Upon reflection, it would seem that if a more object oriented approach had been taken perhaps the situation might have been somewhat reversed....

  11. Sharing the Dream
    (pp. 37-39)
    Colin Seow

    While the initial conception of a piece of architecture is often the vision of an individual, its ultimate realization is in almost all cases a product of collaborative effort. Collaboration is synergetic in nature and relies on the communication of a vision, ideas, concepts and process. Does this occur best within a structured, often hierarchical environment?

    One of the important acts of collaboration is the exchange and sharing of information, or in computational terms — data. On reflection there appeared to be a strong correlation between the content which is to be expected, the nature and properties of shared data and...

  12. Aspects of Asynchronous and Distributed Design Collaboration
    (pp. 41-49)
    Jerzy Wojtowicz, Pegor Papazian, Josep Fargas, Nancy Cheng and James N. Davidson

    Information technology creates new demands on the process of making architecture. One of the most significant phenomena which has resulted from this transformation is collaborative design in a networked environment. Many have focused their efforts on minimizing an apparent shortcoming of networked collaboration and on the difficulty of immediate interaction between participants. Instead of trying to work in a synchronous environment, we have taken the asynchronous nature of networked collaboration to be one of the important features of this medium, a feature whose consequences need to be explored.

    A brief account of a few projects follows. The first involved a...

  13. The Future of the Virtual Design Studio
    (pp. 51-59)
    William J. Mitchell

    In the third decade BPC (Before the Personal Computer) the cyberprophet Norbert Wiener imagined an architect of the future. He set forth his vision as follows:

    To see the greater importance of the transformation of information as compared with mere physical transformation let us suppose that we have an architect in Europe supervising the construction of a building in the United States ... Under this condition, even without transmitting or receiving any material commodities, the architect may take an active part in the construction of the building. Let him draw up his plans and specification as usual. Ultrafax [Wiener’s imagined...

  14. PLATES
    (pp. 61-129)
  15. Postscript: The Virtual Design Studio 1994
    (pp. 131-152)
    Jerzy Wojtowicz, Nancy Cheng and Thomas Kvan

    One year after the conclusion of the Virtual Village project illustrated on the preceding pages, a new Virtual Design Studio was organized. This time the design exercise of the VDS was the redefinition of traditional Li Long housing in Shanghai.

    The School of Architecture at UBC gathered original material on the typology of traditional Li Long courtyard housing during a study abroad programme in Shanghai in May of 1993 (see page 47 for examples of information gathered). Li Long is a unique tenement form developed exclusively in China during the early decades of this century, but is of particular interest...

  16. Appendix I: Digital Dialogue
    (pp. 155-171)
  17. Appendix II: Design Narratives
    (pp. 172-184)
  18. Appendix III: Studio Bulletins
    (pp. 185-187)
  19. Appendix IV: Studio Participants
    (pp. 188-191)
  20. Appendix V: Image Credits
    (pp. 192-194)