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The role of space in interdisciplinary collaboration in design education

The growing interest in the collaborative design education for innovation has mainly been concerned with students and learning outcomes. We know less about the collaboration between the tutors who teach interdisciplinary design courses. Addressing this gap, this article explores the effect of space on the interdisciplinary collaboration between faculty members from the fields of industrial design, architecture, engineering and business administration, who come together to design and conduct an extra-curricular educational activity, Interdisciplinary Design Studio (IDS) at METU. The empirical basis of this study comes from the interviews with the faculty members and the participant observation notes generated during the IDS meetings. The findings show that the effect of space on collaboration becomes evident over three issues, (1) the participation of tutors, (2) the commonality of their expectations from a design project, and (3) the interaction not only between students and tutors, but also among tutors as an interdisciplinary team.