Global Design Studio: Advancing Cross-Disciplinary Experiential Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Shital Desai Ingrid Stahl Marianella Chamorro-Koc


The COVID pandemic forced universities worldwide to shift to remote and online formats of teaching delivery. In design education, this shift has impacted Experiential Education (EE) pedagogical approach to studio teaching, an approach that gives students an opportunity to apply theory to a concrete experience in a reflective manner and provides cross-disciplinary learning opportunities. This paper discusses Global Design Studio (GDS), a collaborative cross-disciplinary teaching initiative between three design disciplines across three continents: Industrial Design in Australia, Interaction Design in Canada, and User Experience Design in Germany. The objective was to develop a support framework during emergency situations to facilitate cross-disciplinary EE to design students. This paper discusses the three teaching experiences as case studies that offer opportunity for deep analysis and reflection of challenges and enablers to EE education in the shift from traditional design studio to remote and online delivery. While navigating COVID-19 barriers to EE education, GDS aimed to achieve these objectives by sharing resources, ideas, and expertise across the three universities. Each unit dedicated the entire academic term to a first exploration of GDS through a semester-long project ‘Interactive Mannikin for children to learn CPR techniques’. This article discusses the context and outcomes of EE teaching and learning experiences at each unit. This paper also reviews the lessons design educators learned about: inter disciplinarity, inter-intra-cultural issues, group working, timing, remote collaboration, and proposing a GDS model for cross-disciplinary EE. 

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DESAI, Shital; STAHL, Ingrid; CHAMORRO-KOC, Marianella. Global Design Studio: Advancing Cross-Disciplinary Experiential Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 26, n. 4, p. 165-181, dec. 2021. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 mar. 2023.