Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1227–1241 | Cite as

AWE: an animated work environment for working with physical and digital tools and artifacts

  • Henrique HouayekEmail author
  • Keith Evan Green
  • Leo Gugerty
  • Ian D. Walker
  • James Witte
Original Article


We discuss the design, development, and testing of animated work environment (AWE), a novel, programmable, AWE supporting everyday human activities at work, at home, or at school in an increasingly digital society. A physical example of the emerging genre of "architectural robotics," AWE features a programmable, reconfigurable “wall,” three horizontal, mobile work-surfaces, and embedded information technologies. AWE is the result of an iterative design process involving surveys, task analyses, virtual and physical prototyping, and usability testing accomplished by a transdisciplinary team of engineers, architects, sociologists, and human factors psychologists. Usability testing has demonstrated AWE’s potential to enhance working life: AWE adapts to variations in complex activities involving users working in one physical place with physical and digital tools and artifacts.


Collaborative work Robotic workstation Physical and digital tools Interactive environments 



The authors acknowledge support from the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grant Number IIS-0534423.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrique Houayek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Keith Evan Green
    • 1
  • Leo Gugerty
    • 2
  • Ian D. Walker
    • 3
  • James Witte
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of ECEClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  4. 4.Department of SociologyClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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