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Observing cognitive work in offices

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This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Cooperative Buildings, CoBuild'99, held in Pittsburgh, PA, USA in October 1999. It is divided into chapters on integrated workplace design and architecture, critical technologies, meeting and conference environments, infrastructure, methodology and empirical studies, and networked home environments. The information revolution has a deep impact on office work. To create better environments for cognitive workers, we designed two observation tools recording office activity. The Subcam (subjective camera) is a miniature, wearable, wide angle video camera, clipped on a pair of glasses ; it records individual activity from a subjective point of view, wherever the user goes. The Offsat (office satellite) takes a picture every minute from the ceiling, showing long term evolution in the spatial distribution of information artifacts (piles, etc.), and measuring the distribution of gross activity (meetings, stand alone computing, etc.). We currently use these tool in a series of new furniture and information artifact design experiments.

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