Features of physical rooms

Via : Greenberg S. and Roseman, M. (2003). Using a Room Metaphor to Ease Transitions in Groupware. In M. Ackerman, V. Pipek, V. Wulf (Eds) Sharing Expertise: Beyond Knowledge Management, 203-256, January, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. A room metaphor is a particular type of spatial model whose features afford a natural way to provide people with good collaborative opportunities. The functions they present are a bit different from the one I presented in my report.

Bounded space : Partitioning : Rooms are collections of bounded spaces, separated by walls.

Containment : Rooms can contain people, tools, and artifacts.

Permeability : People can enter and leave rooms, look inside them through doors and windows, and bring things in and out of them.

Container : Persistence : Objects left in a room persist over time in the same spatial location.

Customization : People can customize a room by bringing in their own artifacts and arranging them in the space.

Privacy and ownership : The way rooms are customized often indicates its ownership and who is allowed in them.

Spatial location : Spatial relations : Objects can be organized within a room when a person spatially relates them to one another.

Proximity and action : Collaborators can interpret each other’s actions by how close they are to one another and to the objects in the space.

Common reference and orientation : People see and reference the room, its objects, and its inhabitants from a similar orientation.

Reciprocity : Collaborators know that others can see their actions and objects in the same way.