CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
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authors Gavin, L., Keuppers, S., Mottram, C. and Penn, A.
year 2001
title Awareness Space in Distributed Social Networks
source Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures [ISBN 0-7923-7023-6] Eindhoven, 8-11 July 2001, pp. 615-628
summary In the real work environment we are constantly aware of the presence and activity of others. We know when people are away from their desks, whether they are doing concentrated work, or whether they are available for interaction. We use this peripheral awareness of others to guide our interactions and social behaviour. However, when teams of workers are spatially separated we lose 'awareness' information and this severely inhibits interaction and information flow. The Theatre of Work (TOWER) aims to develop a virtual space to help create a sense of social awareness and presence to support distributed working. Presence, status and activity of other people are made visible in the theatre of work and allow one to build peripheral awareness of the current activity patterns of those who we do not share space with in reality. TOWER is developing a construction set to augment the workplace with synchronous as well as asynchronous awareness. Current, synchronous activity patterns and statuses are played out in a 3D virtual space through the use of symbolic acting. The environment itself however is automatically constructed on the basis of the organisation's information resources and is in effect an information space. Location of the symbolic actor in the environment can therefore represent the focus of that person's current activity. The environment itself evolves to reflect historic patterns of information use and exchange, and becomes an asynchronous representation of the past history of the organisation. A module that records specific episodes from the synchronous event cycle as a Docudrama forms an asynchronous information resource to give a history of team work and decision taking. The TOWER environment is displayed using a number of screen based and ambient display devices. Current status and activity events are supplied to the system using a range of sensors both in the real environment and in the information systems. The methodology has been established as a two-stage process. The 3D spatial environment will be automatically constructed or generated from some aspect of the pre-existing organisational structure or its information resources or usage patterns. The methodology must be extended to provide means for that structure to grow and evolve in the light of patterns of actual user behaviour in the TOWER space. We have developed a generative algorithm that uses a cell aggregation process to transcribe the information space into a 3d space. In stage 2 that space was analysed using space syntax methods (Hillier & Hanson, 1984; Hillier 1996) to allow the properties of permeability and intelligibility to be measured, and then these fed back into the generative algorithm. Finally, these same measures have been used to evaluate the spatialised behaviour that users of the TOWER space show, and will used to feed this back into the evolution of the space. The stage of transcription from information structure to 3d space through a generative algorithm is critical since it is this stage that allows neighbourhood relations to be created that are not present in the original information structure. It is these relations that could be expected to help increase social density.
keywords Algorithmic Form Generation, Distributed Workgroups, Space Syntax
series CAAD Futures
full text file.pdf (219,824 bytes)
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100%; open Bates, Marcia J. (1996) Find in CUMINCAD Document Familiarity in Relation to Relevance, Information Retrieval Theory, and Bradford's Law: The Getty Online Searching Project Report No. 5 , Information Processing & Management 32 (1996): 697-707
100%; open Hillier, W. and Hanson, J. (1984) Find in CUMINCAD The Social Logic of Space , CUP, Cambridge
100%; open Penn, A., Desyllas, J., Vaughan, J. and Vaughan, L. (1999) Find in CUMINCAD The Space of Innovation: Interactionand Communication in the Work Environment , Environment and Planning B:Planning and Design, Vol. 26, 193-218, Pion, London

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