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Cool Studio

(Collaborative On-Line Studio)

CoOL Studio Site

Since the spring of 1998 we have been experimenting with the use of highly flexible and informal online environments in studios and related design classes. The environments, called CoWebs, consist of shared web pages that allow, and in fact depent on, user-created structure and content. Web pages making up the online envirohment can be freely edited and new pages can be created on the fly from within standard web browsers. CoOL Studio was used in a 12-student graduate studio and was our first attempt in this area.

Project Goals

  • By providing access to online cases and other information on the web, it was hoped that students would incorporate a wider range of exemplars and technical information in their designs.
  • By encouraging students to frequently post and explain their designs, it was hoped that students would become more reflective and articulate.
  • By allowing remote critics to participate, it was hoped that students would better understand a wider range of stakeholder perspectives.
  • By providing ways for students to share research and comment on each others' work, it was hoped that collaboration between students would be enhanced.

Research Questions

  • Can a sense of community that is developed online override typical studio attitudes towards collaboration and competition?
  • How do structural aspects of the online environment affect the perception of identity and ownership?


  • 1999 Progressive Architecture Research Citation
  • 1999 AIA Education Honors Award

Papers & Articles

  • Craig, D. L., Zimring, C. (2000) "Supporting Collaborative Design Groups as Design Communities" Design Studies 20(2), 187-204.
  • Zimring, C., Khan, S., Craig, D., Haq, S., Guzdial, M. (2000, in press) "CoOL Studio: Using Simple Tools to Expand the Discursive Space of the Design Studio" Automation in Construction.
  • GVU Research Spotlight (1999)
  • GT Press Release (1999)

Project Collaborators

College of Architecture
College of Computing
  • Mark Guzdial

Last modified 10 April 2006 at 10:51 pm by dorn