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authors Jabi, Wassim M.
year 1998
title The Role of Artifacts in Collaborative Design
source CAADRIA 98 [Proceedings of The Third Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia / ISBN 4-907662-009] Osaka (Japan) 22-24 April 1998, pp. 271-280
summary With the proliferation of digital technology, a new category of design artifacts, usually described with the term virtual, has emerged. Virtual artifacts have gained further prominence due to the advances made in collaboration software and networking technologies. These technologies have made it easier to communicate design intentions through the transfer and sharing of virtual rather than physical artifacts. This becomes particularly true in the case of long-distance or international collaborative efforts. This paper compares the two major categories of artifacts the physical and the computer-based and places them in relationship to an observed collaborative design process. In order to get at their specific roles in collaboration, two case studies were conducted in which designers in academic and professional settings were observed using a methodology which focused on participation in the everydayness of the designer as well as casual discussions, collection of artifacts, note-taking, and detailed descriptions of insightful events. The collected artifacts were then categorized according to the setting in which they were created and the setting in which they were intended to be used. These two attributes could have one of two values, private or public, which yield a matrix of four possible categories. It was observed that artifacts belonging in the same quadrant shared common qualities such as parsimony, completeness, and ambiguity. This paper finds that distinguishing between physical and virtual artifacts according to their material and imagined attributes is neither accurate nor useful. This research illustrates how virtual artifacts can obtain the qualities of their physical counterparts and vice versa. It also demonstrates how a new meta-artifact can emerge from the inclusion and unification of its material and imagined components. In conclusion, the paper calls for a seamless continuity in the representation and management of physical and virtual artifacts as a prerequisite to the success of: (1) computer-supported collaborative design processes, (2) academic instruction dealing with making and artifact building, and (3) executive policies in architectural practice addressing the management of architectural documents.
keywords Collaborative Design Process
series CAADRIA
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last changed 1998/12/02 13:28
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