Studio Collaborative

Virginia Tech Logo

University of Oregon Logo

University of Montana Logo












Since the 1930's studio-based instruction has been the primary teaching method in architectural and product design. It has often been advocated as a method to teach all types of design, including design as taught in computer science. Unfortunately, very little is known about the actual details of successful application of studio-based methods. The studio is assumed to promote creativity in design, but how does it do it, and what factors are critical to its success?

Through collaboration among three institutions (Virginia Tech, University of Montana, and University of Oregon), four disciplines (architecture, product design, computer science, and educational theory) and six people, we are investigating these research questions. We intend to leverage knowledge about design education from architecture and industrial design to develop new educational models and materials for the design of software-intensive systems, specifically in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Our combined research and education project involves:

  1. Research to illuminate the group processes and environment that contribute to successful outcomes within design studio experiences
  2. Integration of the knowledge generated into educational curriculum guidelines for software design




Funding for the project "Collaborative Research: Investigating and Refining the Studio Experience as a Method for Teaching Human Computer Interaction" was provide by the National Science Foundation, Science of Design program of the Communications and Computer Foundations Division. August 2007 through July 2010. (Award # IIS- 0725290, Virginia Tech; Award # 0725145, University of Oregon; Award # IIS- 0725215, University of Montana)