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Co-Lab – An online tool for collaborative design processes

Design processes, most of all collaborative ones, need elaborate and well-designed digital tools for their support. Project-based design education should especially foster an experimentation with one’s own way of working, with design processes and forms of collaboration. Existing software tools from notetaking apps to visual online boards, file sharing services to project manangement suites often don’t meet the demands of experimental design processes. More often than not they are oriented towards commercial project structures, impose too constrained ways of working, or are based on too simplified notions of creative practice and collaboration.

How could design processes be better represented, documented and shared?
How could the collaboration in projects be fostered by digital tools?
How does our ideal design collaboration tool look like?

This one-year pilot project sets out to develop a digital tool that is tailored to better support collaborative design practices, especially in the context of design education. Together with students of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design Basel, we study situated design processes to explore possible approaches, scopes and requirements for such new collaborative tools. Based on these findings we further experiment with forms of visualization and interface concepts. In this way, over the course of a series of workshops, a design concept is refined to be realized in a prototype.

The project is an initiative and part of the research project Commons in Design.

Project Activities

05/2020
Co-Lab Workshop Report

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