Continuous transformations in the professional practice of providing architectural services can be traced to early beginnings in ancient Egypt and Greece. Throughout the history of the profession, much like today, these transformations reflected the profession’s response to changing and increasingly complex societal demands for environments that are rooted in individual and collective human experiences. To strategically address these societal demands within programmatic parameters, increased specialization in practice in collaboration with other industry specialists was necessary. As a result, to remain relevant and competitive today, many design business entities are evolving toward some form of a transdisciplinary operational format that may be characterized as a multi-level coordination of specialized disciplines essential to the delivery of specific projects. One unique aspect of professional practice, however, remains virtually unaffected by time and the dynamics of extant market fundamentals, and that is the creative design activity that draws from an artistic tradition. This is evidenced by the profession’s objectivist epistemology that has been consistently articulated through classifiable building types appropriate to historical styles and movements. Although the diverse contexts of contemporary professional practice increasingly challenge models of expertise drawing from this tradition, an analysis of trends in design education indicate that much of the academic theory of design rooted in this artistic tradition will remain basic even to new paradigms that incorporate information age digital technologies in design studio-based pedagogy. This paper examines the interface between the virtual organization, a business construct, and virtual design studio, a pedagogical construct. The Virtual Organization represents a contemporary proactive system of thinking about design, theory, and ideology, which is fundamental to emerging formats of professional practice. Similarly, the Virtual Design Studio may be collaboration among disciplines among educational institutions and/or business entities geographically apart, unified by joint efforts in simulated or real project delivery scenarios.
|Keywords:||Virtual Organization, Virtual Design Studio, Cognitive Learning Theory, Anchored/Project Based Instruction|
Professor of Interior Architecture, School of Architecture, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA