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Much architectural design work increasingly addresses an international audience. But many designers continue to work in isolation. In practice, however, their work includes international collaboration. This requires cross-cultural understandings with their co-collaborators. There are few opportunities for this to occur in a pedagogical setting. The 3D co-located laboratory (3DCollab) described in this paper was used as a cross-cultural exchange platform to address the need for design students to practice collaborating remotely. What the 3DCollab did was to facilitate cross-cultural exchange in a fun and informative environment where learning was constructed and played out in a 3D virtual environment (3DVE). The project involved students across three cooperating institutions: The University of Queensland (Australia); the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (Taiwan); and, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim (Norway). It builds on previous exercises conducted by the authors. As far as the authors of this paper are aware this is the first e-learning application to focus on cross-cultural understanding in a 3DVE.
Date of Conference: 26-28 April 2007