Drastic changes in technology and economics currently impact common working structures. Moreover, a fundamental move of western societies from industrial and service oriented societies to information oriented societies can be observed. Like others, the AEC industry is also exposed to the challenge of these fundamental changes, not only regarding an ever growing stock of information on building components and materials, but also because of new methods of collaboration to be applied by all participants. As a result, integrating domain specific knowledge into the design process and conversely, conveying design intentions to domain experts, is meaningful in a constantly growing scale. Utilising advanced technology, a twofold approach in research and education, undertaken at the Institut für Industrielle Bauproduktion (ifib), University of Karlsruhe, is the basis of efforts to create and develop integrating methods of collaboration into the design and planning process. In addition, the integration of AEC practitioners (investors, users, designers, engineers) in the education process provides both drastic changes in the fields of design and construction education of students and a promising approach for life long learning. The focus of this paper is to present the current state of work and to report on experiences gathered during several Virtual Design Studios (VDS) in which multi-disciplinary participants from various Universities and backgrounds were involved. Platforms for the activities are World Wide Web based applications as well as animations, VR, CAD and video conferencing.