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H. Bier

Improvements in Internet-based database connectivities and interactive interfacing allow for real-time interaction between users. While, Internet-based learning platforms facilitate, in general, exchange of text, image, and movie files, academic education in design-oriented domains needs support in knowledge exchange with respect to design related issues such as 2D drafting and 3D-4D modeling. In this context, multi-user interactive interfaces employing game engines offer a framework within which prototypes for Internet-based academic education in architecture, such as Protospace, have been successfully implemented and tested.
Within the framework of an Internet-based platform offering students introductory courses to doctoral studies, 14 European institutions offer a range of 1-3 Internet-based modules each, which deal with issues of architectural theory and practice. The set-up of an Internet-based platform for pre-doctoral research required consideration on two levels: Definition of means for web-based knowledge exchange, and definition of knowledge to be exchanged. Both influence each other intrinsically: While a textual knowledge exchange might require text-based interfaces, image-, draft-, and model-based knowledge require multi-media interfaces.

Considering the possibility of developing a multi-media web-based platform enabling text, image, 2D draft, 3-4D model, and audio-video real-time exchange, this paper presents and discusses the use and extension of an existing software prototype, Protospace, developed by Hyperbody as well as the development from scratch of an interface for web-based multi-media data-exchange and communication for E-ArchiDoct.