Technology as a tool for globalization: Cross-cultural collaborative design studio projects

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Abstract

This paper discusses how distance learning technology is utilized to breakdown geographical barriers and expose students to cross-cultural and global issues in the interior design studio. Two design studio collaborations-one of which was with Technikon, a South African institution of higher learning, and the second of which was with a British client of Nigerian descent-will be discussed here. The first project occurred between Spring 2001 and Spring 2002. Interior Design students at the University of Oklahoma were required to design affordable housing in response to issues identified in slums and squatter settlements in both South Africa and Nigeria. The students were able to accomplish this through the use of video conferencing technology while working in collaboration with the Technikon institution in South Africa. A second project occurred in fall 2005 in a lighting design studio. The students designed the lighting for a house in Nigeria via web conferencing with a British client of Nigerian origin. Through projects like these, design educators can help students learn about global design issues, develop competencies to allow them to view the world from multiple perspectives by studying design contributions from other cultures, and thus provide them with practical and intellectual skills to be actively engaged in an increasingly global society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

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