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By : Burcu Senyapili, Ahmet Fatih Karakaya

This study explores the impact of virtual classrooms as an emerging classroom typology in comparison to the physical classrooms in the design process. Two case studies were held in order to infer design students' classroom preferences in the project lifecycle. The findings put forth figures that compare two forms of design communication in the two classroom types in terms of their contribution to design development. Although the students acknowledged many advantages of web-based communication in the virtual classroom, they indicated that they are unwilling to let go off face-to-face encounters with the instructors and fellow students in the physical classroom. It is asserted that the future design studio will be an integrated learning environment where both physical and virtual encounters will be presented to the student. Utilizing the positive aspects of both communication techniques, a hybrid setting for the design studio is introduced, comprising the physical classroom as well as the virtual one. The proposed use for the hybrid setting is grouped under 3 phases according to the stage of the design process; as the initial, development and final phases. Within this framework, it is inferred that the design studio of the future will be an integrated form of space, where the physical meets the virtual.
Keywords : Classroom, Design Studio, Hybrid Course, Learning Environment.

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