CSCW & Interaction Design for Co-Located Creative Work Spaces

CSCW und Interaktionsdesign für kollaborative kreative Arbeitsumgebungen


As automization and artificial intelligence take over more and more manual labor, the one area where humans provide unique capabilites is creative work. Interestingly, this is also an area where technology today plays only a minor role - for example, brainstorming techniques mostly are non-digital and work with physical artifacts. In a project funded by the MWIDE in North-Rhine Westphalia (Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Innovation, Digitalisierung und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen) we aim to explore the collaborative work practices of creative thinkers and workers and look for possibilities to enhance and support these through technology. For that we can explore a "living lab", the Daig at the Halfmannshof in Gelsenkirchen, where very different creative workers live and work.

Goals and Approach

On the one hand, the research aims to understand the work and social practices among the inhabitants of our living lab - very much following an ethnomethodological approach, as has been common in HCI research. On the other hand, we aim to design new technologies which fit within the discovered processes and practices and are able to enhance them. The living lab then provides the perfect test-bed for technological probes and long-term evaluation to understand the consequences and effects of these. Together with our partners, we will further more explore and develop business models for such co-located creative work spaces, aiming at creating a blue-print for new creative hubs in the region that follow the model of the Halfmannshof.

Innovations and Perspectives

This research will provide a deeper understanding of creative work practices and at the same time will demonstrate how novel technologies can benefit humans in such environments. We are aiming for a truly ubiquitous experience, where technologies "weave themselves s into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it" (Mark Weiser, 1991).