A Collaborative Design and Education Environment (CoDE)

The Department of Architectural Studies in the College of Human Environmental Sciences has developed a Collaborative Design and Education Environment (CoDE). The CoDE environment was developed to allow students who are working in group situations to collaborate easily while using architectural design and visualization software. The idea for CoDE began in 2009 after several Architectural Studies students participated in the Solar Decathlon. A needs assessment of this experience identified that shared development of ideas was crucial to the success of the project.

The design of the CoDE fosters a collaborative learning and work process by providing a shared workspace, interactive development tools and a web conferencing system for networking in and out of the classroom. Students are currently using the CoDE in the Immersive Visualization Lab (iLab) as a multipurpose lab for sharing screens or files with other group members, working on chunks of the larger design process, and recording key decisions that happen during the collaboration process. The iLab is an advanced visualization technology-driven facility that supports 3-D visualization and collaboration. The CoDE features three major components:

– Public Work Surface In a traditional design classroom, students often huddle around one computer to work together. In the iLab, students are able to send individual work to a shared space. All group members are able to edit and manipulate the content on the public work space to create one design, shared by all participants.

– Interactivity With a public workspace, teachers and students need to be able to annotate, manipulate, and document work content created by the class. The iLab includes an interactive whiteboard that integrates with the public work surface.

– Collaboration Network The iLab includes opportunities for collaboration outside of the classroom environment. Open Source video collaboration will make it possible for other universities or professionals to interact with students, professors and researchers in the MU iLab.

For questions, please contact Dr. Bimal Balakrishnan, Professor of Architectural Studies or Jenna Kammer, Instructional Designer for the College of Human Environmental Sciences.