Immersive Cooperative Work Environments (CWE): Designing Human-Building Interaction in Virtual Reality
We propose to extend CSCW research to include the design of buildings for cooperative work and to engage in designing Human-Building Interaction supporting cooperative practices. Concretely, we design and implement an immersive Cooperative Work Environment in Virtual Reality using real-life 3D architectural models of a hospital. We then invite healthcare practitioners to cooperatively resuscitate patients experiencing cardiac arrest in an immersive Cooperative Work Environment. This enabled the healthcare practitioners to identify critical functional errors (e.g. how asymmetric door design compromised resurrection practices in certain situations) that were not detected through other available architectural representations. Based upon our research, we identify three design dimensions essential to creating immersive Cooperative Work Environments: 1) the cooperative dimension, structured as the design of interdependence, articulation work, awareness, and grounding; 2) the professional work dimension, structured as the design of work practices, policies, artefacts, and professional language; and 3) the spatiotemporal dimension, structured as the design of loci and mobility. We also identified temporal orientation as a cross-spanning category relevant for all three design dimensions essential to participants’ navigating of the building. Temporal orientation in an immersive Cooperative Work Environment must accommodate the experience of sequential time, clock time, and action time.