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supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

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authors Elger, Dietrich and Russell, Peter
year 2002
title The Virtual Campus: A new place for (lifelong) learning?
source Connecting the Real and the Virtual - design e-ducation [20th eCAADe Conference Proceedings / ISBN 0-9541183-0-8] Warsaw (Poland) 18-20 September 2002, pp. 472-477
summary 472 eCAADe 20 [design e-ducation] Modeling Real and Virtual Worlds Session 13 In the early spring of 2001 a collection of German universities founded a virtual faculty of architecture, which was named „Liquid Campus“. Current thinking about future forms of education in the field of architecture combined with over 4 years of experience with net-based design studios, led to questions about the future of existing universities, their buildings and their use. This problem was put to 43 students in the form of a design exercise to create a place for a virtual university. In the current situation, in which the administration of knowledge is more and more located on the internet, and even the so-called meeting places themselves can be virtualised through the help of video-conference-software, the exercise was to design a virtual campus in the framework and to carry out this design work in a simulation of distributed practice. Initial criticism of the project came from the students in that exemplary working methods were not described, but left for the students to discover on their own. The creation of a concept for the Liquid Campus meant that the participants had to imagine working in a world without the face to face contacts that form the basis (at present) of personal interaction. Additionally, the assignment to create or design possible links between the real and the virtual was not an easy task for students who normally design and plan real physical buildings. Even the tutors had difficulties in producing focused constructive criticism about a virtual campus; in effect the virtualisation of the university leads to a distinctive blurring of its boundaries. The project was conducted using the pedagogical framework of the netzentwurf.de; a relatively well established Internet based communication platform. This means that the studio was organised in the „traditional“ structure consisting of an initial 3 day workshop, a face to face midterm review, and a collective final review, held 3,5 months later in the Museum of Communication in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In teams of 3 (with each student from a different university and a tutor located at a fourth) the students worked over the Internet to produce collaborative design solutions. The groups ended up with designs that spanned a range of solutions between real and virtual architecture. Examples of the student’s work (which is all available online) as well as their working methods are described. It must be said that the energy invested in the studio by the organisers of the virtual campus (as well as the students who took part) was considerably higher than in normal design studios and the paper seeks to look critically at the effort in relation to the outcomes achieved. The range and depth of the student’s work was surprising to many in the project, especially considering the initial hurdles (both social and technological) that had to overcome. The self-referential nature of the theme, the method and the working environment encouraged the students to take a more philosophical approach to the design problem. The paper explores the implications of the student’s conclusions on the nature of the university in general and draws conclusions specific to architectural education and the role of architecture in this process.
series eCAADe
email russell@bazillus.architektur.rwth-aachen.de
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100%; open Elger, D. and Russell, P. (2000) Find in CUMINCAD Using the World Wide Web as a Communication and Presentation Forum for Students of Architecture , Proceedings of the 18th Annual eCAADe Conference, Weimar

100%; open Elger, D. and Russell, P. (2001) Find in CUMINCAD Net-based Architectural Design: The Difficult Path from the Presentation of Architectural Design in the World Wide Web to Teamwork in Virtual Planning Offices: A Field Report , Proceedings of the 19th Annual eCAADe Conference, Helsinki

100%; open Russell, P., Kohler, N., Forgber, U., Koch, V. and Rügemer, J. (1999) Find in CUMINCAD Interactive representation of Architectural Design: The Virtual Design Studio as an architectural Graphics Laboratory , Proceedings of the 17th Annual eCAADe Conference, Liverpool UK

100%; open Russell, P. (2001) Find in CUMINCAD Creating Place in the Virtual Design Studio , Proceedings of the CAAD Futures 2001 Conference, Eindhoven

last changed 2002/09/09 17:19
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