Collaborative Work in Design Practices

1st Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Schrader (ISNM)

2nd Supervisor: Prof. Michael Docherty (University of Queensland, Australia)

With the growth of the world wide web as mass communication tool an opportunity for online collaboration has been created. People from remote locations can take advantage of the Internet and work together in a collaborative workspace environment. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) deals with this transition from a traditional working environment to a virtual workspace. The collaborative design project for this work is ""Worldstory"". It is a joint activity of different academic institutions from Australia, Japan, Great Britain, Sweden, Canada and Germany. Episodes of a computer animated story will be created by teams of design students from these institutions. While the first episode will be based on a initial story outline, all the following episodes continue like chinese whispers, based on the individual understanding of the episodes that have been created before. In this way the story can evolve around the world, content and design being a reflection of the students ideas and their different cultural backgrounds. As a center of all Worldstory related activities a website has been designed. The design of the site is based on a Tiki Wiki, an open-source Content Management System that can be customized as a web-based collaboration tool. Part of the thesis was to design this collaborative workspace as an environment that supports the design activities of the students and a virtual meeting point for a Worldstory community. Focus of the work was on how the students accept the specific collaborative tools on the website over the time of their work and how far a community feeling could be established among them through the use of the Worldstory site.