The research project investigates the use of immersive visualization systems through which student teams in multiple locations collaborate via simultaneous access to project data, visualization, modeling, simulation and multimodal interpersonal communication tools. As a preliminary report on a proof-of-concept design studio conducted during the spring semester of 2007 between the Immersive Environment Laboratory (IEL) at Pennsylvania State University and the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) at Carleton University in Ottawa, the paper first describes the implementation of a network-centric collaborative design platform. The report articulates the "staging" of the conditions of possibility for a dynamic interplay between technological mediation and the reality of making, then compares the use of high bandwidth technology with customized symmetrical toolsets in the tele-collaborative educational environment, versus commercial toolsets deployed over moderate bandwidth connections. In each setting, the collaborative environment is assessed according to issues encountered by students and design outcomes. The effectiveness of the digitally mediated collaborative studio is also gauged in terms of student reaction to the learning process via feedback surveys and questionnaires.