Media Spaces

Amy Voida,  Stephen Voida, Saul Greenberg, and Helen Ai He. “Asymmetry in media spaces.” In Proceedings of the 2008 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2008), pp. 313-322. ACM, 2008. [Honorable Mention – Best Paper Award Nominee; Nomination Rate: 5%, Acceptance Rate: 23%]


Casual interactions are brief, informal and frequent exchanges that occur naturally in the everyday workplace. Research shows they are crucial to the development of strong work collaborations and the social relationships that underlie them. However, remote workers are at a disadvantage as they are spatially separated from fellow coworkers, resulting in little to no opportunity for casual interactions.

We explored a video-based media space – an always-on video and audio link connecting two or more distance-separated parties. This link supplies both the awareness information that creates opportunities for low-barrier casual interactions, as well as a communication channel that enables users to move easily into lightweight conversations. Our full paper here.


Screenshots from an earlier version of this prototype of the MEdia space (linking the work and home offices) are shown below.