The Design Collaboratory builds on the successful 46-year multi-disciplinary experience of this academic institution in developing an interdisciplinary design studio, which cultivates innovative models of practice. A team of professors, with over 40 years of collective cross disciplinary collaborative experience, and students from Architecture and Architectural (Structural) Engineering Departments with periodic involvement from the Construction Management Department (LEED workshop and student involvement on team) participate in a 20-week interdisciplinary design studio. This course has been taught since the 2007/08 academic year. This interdisciplinary team approach to building design has all disciplines involved from the inception of the building design project. Innovative uses of steel, integration of structure and design, and energy efficient cladding systems, are emphasized in this comprehensive design studio. The DC’s collaborative practitioner partners are internationally recognized architecture and engineering firms, and the educational division of a major software company. Interdisciplinary student teams address complex structural/cladding systems, environmental issues, and use advanced digital technology tools, while simulating innovative collaborative practice strategies based on workflows demonstrated by leading design and engineering firms. This Collaboratory model expands the role of the practitioner in the academic design studio by having leading firms sponsor workshops, lectures and critiques across the disciplines to reformulate the methodology for integrating a practitioner’s workflow strategies into a studio project. The students gain insight about, how industry integrates multiple strengthens of team communication by providing information that can be used continuously from design through fabrication and for developing and analyzing sustainable issues, and illustrating how practitioners lead collaborative teams.

The five major Collaboratory activities are:
1. Practitioner Lectures/Workshops
2. Practitioner Reviews and Discussions in a Selected Practitioner’s Office
3. Advanced Technology Training By Software Company and Practitioners
4. Digital and Physical Prototyping of Project Cladding System
5. Surveying and Documenting the Group Interactions for How Teams are Using Tools to Accomplish Tasks



Number of Pages


Included in

Architecture Commons



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/arch_fac/46