There has been considerable work done in the support of the collaborative design activity. Technology has provided a diverse range of support systems to support designers as they conduct their design activity. Concurrent with this has been the research activity which has been focusing on the attributes of the designer and the qualities necessary to be an effective contributor to the process of collaborative design. This paper considers the outcomes of research projects undertaken to both evaluate and contribute to the design of virtual design environments. The collaborative design potential of such virtual design domains as "DesignWorld" (Maher et al, 2006) and the less design specific, "second Life" has been recorded in a range of papers. These systems provide a significant platform for development and future research in them but they also provide a broader range of research scenarios for the future when considered with the research being conducted on the "human skills" or the "Core Skills" which are being concurrently researched. This paper will discuss the issues posed by the findings of these two research domains and explores the opportunities they provide for further research and development. The need to better understand the designer and the knowledge, skills and attitudes they require to be effective in the collaborative design context when considered in tandem to the opportunities that technology provide in the potential of the virtual collaborative domain are significant and will be pervasive for future designers.
IASDR'07: International Association of Societies of Design Research 2007. IASDR'07: International Association of Societies of Design Research 2007. Proceedings (Hong Kong 12-15 November, 2007) p. 1-11