Designing awareness support for distributed cooperative design teams

Vyas, Dhaval, Heylen, Dirk, Nijholt, Anton, & van der Veer, Gerrit C. (2008) Designing awareness support for distributed cooperative design teams. In Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics: The Ergonomics of Cool Interaction (ECCE '08), ACM, Madeira, Portugal.

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Awareness is an integral part of remote collaborative work and has been an important theme within the CSCW research. Our project aims at understanding and mediating non-verbal cues between remote participants involved in a design project.

Research approach

Within the AMIDA project we focus on distributed 'cooperative design' teams. We especially focus on the 'material' signals - signals in which people communicate through material artefacts, locations and their embodied actions. We apply an ethnographic approach to understand the role of physical artefacts in co-located naturalistic design setting. Based on the results we will generate important implications to support remote design work. We plan to develop a mixed-reality interface supported by a shared awareness display. This awareness display will provide information about the activities happening in the design room to remotely located participants.


Our preliminary investigation with real-world design teams suggests that both the materiality of designers' work settings and their social practices play an important role in understanding these material signals that are at play.


Most research supporting computer mediated communication have focused on either face-to-face or linguistically oriented communication paradigms. Our research focuses on mediating the non-verbal, material cues for supporting collaborative activities without impoverishing what designers do in their day to day working lives.

Take away message

An ethnographic approach allows us to understand the naturalistic practices of design teams, which can lead to designing effective technologies to support group work. In that respect, the findings of our research will have a generic value beyond the application domain chosen (design teams).

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 69713
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: CSCW, Artefacts, Design, Mixed-Reality, Awareness
DOI: 10.1145/1473018.1473026
ISBN: 9781605583990
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 ACM New York
Deposited On: 03 Apr 2014 01:09
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2014 18:00

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