Global Studio - Design Process

Ruth Mateus-Berr

The project’s objective was to develop key skills for working in cross-cultural and geographically distributed workgroups and teams by blended learning and face-to-face approaches. The students had to identify the folklore stories of the grandparents of their respective partner students and design solutions by project-based learning.


“Design must become an innovative, highly creative, cross- disciplinary tool responsive to the true needs of men. It must be more research-oriented, and we must stop defiling the earth itself with poorly-designed objects and structures“ (Papanek 1971, 3; 2009, 8)

“While the designer in any team situation may know far less psychology than the psychologist, far less economics than the economist, and very little about, say, electrical engineering, he will invariably bring a greater understanding of psychology to the design process than that possessed by the
electrical engineer. By default, he will be the bridge (Papanek 1971, 112)

The Global Studio is a cross-institutional teaching and learning program with the aim of providing students with skills for working in cross-cultural and geographically distributed workgroups. The module has been designed so that students develop and gain experience in using key skills (understanding the impacts of distributed design processes on strategies and design outcomes; developing and gaining experience regarding distance communication uses; exploring cultural issues and concepts via exchange and evaluation; developing skills in writing and evaluation of design briefs; developing teamwork skills; providing critical feedback; developing means to implement and communicate the design strategy to a client). These will enable them to work successfully with various organizational members in the distributed product development process. The skills mentioned above are becoming increasingly important in new product development as a result of the changing global manufacturing environment. Students of the University of Applied Arts Vienna – from the Design, Architecture, Environment for Art Education and Social Design Arts as Urban Innovation departments have been working with external partners, in our case with Shibaura Institute of Technology (JPN) and Middle East Technical University (TUR). The project’s emphasis on project-based learning is underpinned by the assumption that this pedagogical technique contributes to embedding established design practices into the students’ own repertoire. The module is delivered using a blended learning approach with a combination of online learning and face-to-face teaching. An important aspect of the module is the incorporation of Web 2.0 technologies for developing skills in distance communication. This semester’s projects were focused on the folklore stories (superstition, fear, real problems) of the partner students’ grandparents. The students had to identify them, define the problem and design solutions.

Participating Universities

Loughborough Design School, UK

METU - Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan

Tecnun Universidad de Navarra, Spain

University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria

University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

BAU- University Berlin, Germany

Winter Semester 2017
Mateus-Berr Ruth & Ofenböck
Maximilian; Heinzl
David; Hagenbrock
Silvan; Schlögl
Alexander; Spanlang Katharina; Lal
Poojitha; Ertürk
Eylem; Grüner
David Johannes; Hubauer
Magdalena; Naydenov
Pavel; Pantelić
Ivan; Reyes
Gerald Cirilo; Rohrauer
Bernd; Sa`adeh
Bana; Urrutia Reyes
Gabriela; Volkmer
Raphael; Weithas
Lukas Farai; Zajac
Zuzanna; Zühlke
Anne; Soto Delgado
Julia; Schulze
Lina; Cox
Jennifer; Hibberd
Rebecca; Kohler
Alyce; Yılmazer
Hakan; Demir
Damla Kıvılcım; Uğur
Kaan; Seydioğlu
Sarper; Takenouchi
Seiji; Matsushita
Kann; Dandan
LI; Yeongchae
Choi; Nida
Arı; Erdoğan
Dilara; Yanık
Deniz; Akbaş
Dilan; Constant
Thomas; Hunter
Tobias; Pointon
Benjamin; Cowley
Margaret; Knott
Emily; Sanghani