ITcon Vol. 16, pg. 165-188, http://www.itcon.org/2011/12

Case studies using multiuser virtual worlds as an innovative platform for collaborative design

submitted:March 2010
revised:September 2010
published:February 2011
editor(s):Turk Z.
authors:Kathryn E. Merrick, Dr,
School of Engineering and Information Technology
University of New South Wales
Australian Defence Force Academy;
k.merrick@adfa.edu.au and
http://seit.unsw.adfa.edu.au/staff/sites/kmerrick/

Ning Gu, Dr,
School of Architecture and Built Environment
University of Newcastle, Australia;
ning.gu@newcastle.edu.au and
http://www.newcastle.edu.au/research/expertise/141419.html

Xiangyu Wang Dr, Senior Lecturer,
Construction Management and Property Discipline, Faculty of the Built Environment, The University of New South Wales, Australia.
xiangyu.wang@unsw.edu.au
summary:To some extent, design can be described as a process concerned with changing the state of an environment through purposeful and constrained decision making that requires exploration, creativity and learning. The broad discipline of design incorporates the study of design methodology, technologies for design and design thinking. Design projects in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) domains generally require efficient collaboration between designers from different specialties involved in the entire lifecycle of a project, and often based at different locations. In addition, there is emerging potential for human-computer co-creativity in the design process. This paper investigates the innovative use of emerging multiuser virtual world technologies for supporting human-human collaboration and human-computer co-creativity in design. The paper defines three conceptual technology spaces that describe the different aspects of virtual worlds that make them useful as platforms for certain types of collaborative design: design tools for modelling new artefacts, support for communication, and the ability to incorporate artificial models of cognitive design processes. In order to support the conceptual technology spaces for multiuser virtual worlds, four case studies were conducted and examined in the field of collaborative design using multiuser virtual worlds. Analysis of these case studies reveals the current strengths and limitations of multiuser virtual worlds for supporting human-human collaboration and human-computer co-creativity in design activities.
keywords:multiuser virtual worlds, design, collaborative design, design computing, design cognition, agents, artificial intelligence
full text: (PDF file, 1.008 MB)
citation:Merrick K E, Gu N, Wang X (2011). Case studies using multiuser virtual worlds as an innovative platform for collaborative design, ITcon Vol. 16, Special issue Use of virtual world technology in architecture, engineering and construction, pg. 165-188, http://www.itcon.org/2011/12