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authors Gabriel, G. and Maher, M.L.
year 2000
title Analysis of design communication with and without computer mediation
source Proceedings of Co-designing 2000, pp. 329-337
summary With recent developments in CAD and communication technologies, the way we visualise and communicate design representations is changing. A matter of great interest to architects, practitioners and researchers alike, is how computer technology might affect the way they think and work. The concern is not about the notion of 'support' alone, but about ensuring that computers do not disrupt the design process and collaborative activity already going on (Bannon and Schmidt, 1991). Designing new collaborative tools will then have to be guided by a better understanding of how collaborative work is accomplished and by understanding what resources the collaborators use and what hindrances they encounter in their work (Finholt et al., 1990). Designing, as a more abstract notion, is different than having a business meeting using video conferencing. In design it is more important to 'see' what is being discussed rather than 'watch' the other person(s) involved in the discussion. In other words the data being conveyed might be of more importance than the method with which it is communicated (See Kvan, 1994). Similarly, we believe that by using text instead of audio as a medium for verbal communication, verbal representations can then be recorded alongside graphical representations for later retrieval and use. In this paper we present the results of a study on collaborative design in three different environments: face-to-face (FTF), computer-mediated using video conferencing (CMCD-a), and computer-mediated using "talk by typing" (CMCD-b). The underlying aim is to establish a clearer notion of the collaborative needs of architects using computer-mediation. In turn this has the potential in assisting developers when designing new collaborative tools and in assisting designers when selecting an environment for a collaborative session.
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