Design Automation Lab

A research lab developing methods and tools for supporting design decision making.


Research Overview

The research project will develop, test, deploy, and evaluate a platform for supporting student-centred collaborative learning in the design studio. The platform is called ‘Studionet’.

In the first version of the Studionet, the graph was visualized used a 'galaxy' stars with links between them.
The second version of Studionet has a more traditional UI design, but the graph still forms the core organising datastructure.

Research Aims and Objectives

Numerous studies and research papers have highlighted the limitations of conventional learning management systems (LMS), with many of them arguing that there is too much emphasis on teacher-led instruction and not enough on student-led collaborative learning. The Studionet platform aims to overcome these limitations. The platform will consist of a web application with a database to store contributions from students, teaching assistants, and staff. The platform will allow these contributions to be interlinked into complex graphs.

The Studionet platform will allow participants (including students, teaching assistants, staff, and guests) to perform the following actions:

The novelty of the Studionet platform lies in the way that the contributions and links are stored, queried, visualized and applied in a student-centred collaborative learning platform for design. A graph database is used to store the data, and a graph-based query language is used to query the data. This allows rich interactive visualizations to be generated on the fly from database queries that extract specific subsets of data.

Studionet allows participants to do the following: