CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id cf2011_p093
authors Nguyen, Thi Lan Truc; Tan Beng Kiang
year 2011
title Understanding Shared Space for Informal Interaction among Geographically Distributed Teams
source Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures 2011 [Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures / ISBN 9782874561429] Liege (Belgium) 4-8 July 2011, pp. 41-54.
summary In a design project, much creative work is done in teams, thus requires spaces for collaborative works such as conference rooms, project rooms and chill-out areas. These spaces are designed to provide an atmosphere conducive to discussion and communication ranging from formal meetings to informal communication. According to Kraut et al (E.Kraut et al., 1990), informal communication is an important factor for the success of collaboration and is defined as é─˙conversations take place at the time, with the participants, and about the topics at hand. It often occurs spontaneously by chance and in face-to-face manner. As shown in many research, much of good and creative ideas originate from impromptu meeting rather than in a formal meeting (Grajewski, 1993, A.Isaacs et al., 1997). Therefore, the places for informal communication are taken into account in workplace design and scattered throughout the building in order to stimulate face-to-face interaction, especially serendipitous communication among different groups across disciplines such as engineering, technology, design and so forth. Nowadays, team members of a project are not confined to people working in one location but are spread widely with geographically distributed collaborations. Being separated by long physical distance, informal interaction by chance is impossible since people are not co-located. In order to maintain the benefit of informal interaction in collaborative works, research endeavor has developed a variety ways to shorten the physical distance and bring people together in one shared space. Technologies to support informal interaction at a distance include video-based technologies, virtual reality technologies, location-based technologies and ubiquitous technologies. These technologies facilitate people to stay aware of otheré─˘s availability in distributed environment and to socialize and interact in a multi-users virtual environment. Each type of applications supports informal interaction through the employed technology characteristics. One of the conditions for promoting frequent and impromptu face-to-face communication is being co-located in one space in which the spatial settings play as catalyst to increase the likelihood for frequent encounter. Therefore, this paper analyses the degree to which sense of shared space is supported by these technical approaches. This analysis helps to identify the trade-off features of each shared space technology and its current problems. A taxonomy of shared space is introduced based on three types of shared space technologies for supporting informal interaction. These types are named as shared physical environments, collaborative virtual environments and mixed reality environments and are ordered increasingly towards the reality of sense of shared space. Based on the problem learnt from other technical approaches and the nature of informal interaction, this paper proposes physical-virtual shared space for supporting intended and opportunistic informal interaction. The shared space will be created by augmenting a 3D collaborative virtual environment (CVE) with real world scene at the virtual world side; and blending the CVE scene to the physical settings at the real world side. Given this, the two spaces are merged into one global structure. With augmented view of the real world, geographically distributed co-workers who populate the 3D CVE are facilitated to encounter and interact with their real world counterparts in a meaningful and natural manner.
keywords shared space, collaborative virtual environment, informal interaction, intended interaction, opportunistic interaction
series CAAD Futures
email g0800518@nus.edu.sg
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