The Impact of Spatial Properties on Collaboration: An Exploratory Study in the Automotive Domain
Association for Computing Machinery
Interaction environments are characterized by their spatial properties, which guide, direct, and provide an opportunity to become a place for social encounters. For example, the car cabin comprises properties such as a special seating arrangement and hence physical barriers between the back and front row. In emphasizing notions of space" and "place", we present an initial study on how such spatial properties of the car cabin shape passenger collaboration. With this, we contribute to a better understanding of the automotive design space beyond driver and co-driver positions. In an exploratory lab study with 56 participants we observed collaborative practices in a hardware mock-up of an actual car. We found that social practices in cars need to be understood as connected to their inherent spatial manifestations, which are constraining and concurrently constituting them. We reflect upon the driver position as "the crux of the matter", the meanings people ascribe to particular positions, and how we can use this knowledge to inform automotive interaction design."