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Towards a Global Concept of Collaborative Space

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Part of the Computer Supported Cooperative Work book series (CSCW)


Both distraction-free and interactive officing strategies will be required for a number of different key work places: the Individual Place, Project Place, Meeting Place, Social Place, and the Electronic Place. Mobility and flexibility in furniture, lighting, thermal, and networking will have significant opportunities for innovation, with the Project Place the most innovative and unknown of these work environments.

Providing “layers of ownership” in Project Places is critical to ensuring collaboration, immersion, and creativity. The combination of nonterritorial offices, or hoteling, with dispersed teaming and conference spaces is “not good enough” to ensure collaboration, immersion, and creativity. We contend that not only are these environments inadequate for individual work due to distractions and dispersion of needed references, they are ineffective for collective work.

For effective individual work, there will be growing emphasis on “owned” workstations, however small, and on multiple work environments for both the “road warrior” and the multidisciplinary innovator.

For successful collaborative work, the most innovative “layer of ownership” will be of project places, collaboratively owned physical places dedicated to a project for a critical period of time to ensure project deliverables. Successful project places support critical functions that individual workplaces or conventional meeting spaces cannot support. The opportunities and dynamics in innovative officing, however, are entirely dependent on flexible infrastructures - a new era in intelligent workplace design.


  • Real Estate
  • Thermal Comfort
  • Collaborative Work
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Meeting Room

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-84800-098-8_3
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The Advanced Building Systems Integration Consortium (ABSIC), supporting the CBPD, is a university-industry-government partnership established in July 1988 at Carnegie Mellon University. ABSIC conducts research, development, and demonstrations for the purpose of increasing the satisfaction, health, well-being, and productivity of occupants, of enabling organizational change, and technological adaptability while improving cost, energy, and environmental effectiveness. ABSIC has been created for the advancement of the building industry in pursuing the technologies and the settings needed for high-performance work environments.

Recognizing the significance of the work of CBPD and its industrial sponsors, The National Science Foundation designated the CBPD as an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, the first center that focused on the building industry.

A portion of this paper draws from the results of several workshops with Dr. Thomas Moran who spent a sabbatical at CMU from Xerox PARC. He was assisted by Dr. Jayakrishna Shankavaram, who was a researcher at CBPD before joining a consulting firm in Washington DC. The authors offered a seminar in the fall of 2000 on the subject of Design of Integrated Systems that resulted in a group submission by Tracy Yu, Edith Lau, and Young Joon Miki. Some of the images are from that class. We all gratefully acknowledge the long-term financial and professional support of ABSIC.

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Correspondence to Vivian Loftness .

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© 2009 Springer-Verlag London Limited

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Hartkopf, V., Loftness, V., Aziz, A. (2009). Towards a Global Concept of Collaborative Space. In: Lahlou, S. (eds) Designing User Friendly Augmented Work Environments. Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Springer, London.

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