In the context of “3DLife”, European Network of Excellence (2010-2013), we propose to consider what could be a virtual space of mediation, where the different research partners could meet and exchange.
The problem in IT research projects that involve partners located all over Europe is to manage distances, to ensure the coordination of activities, to share data and resources, to work together. CSCW research focused on communication tools and analyzed collaborative practices.
We want to explore how 3D media shapes a variety of presence modalities in terms of availability, involvement, complicity, closeness.

    • Can a 3D environment foster collaborative practices?
    • What do 3D environments bring to interactions?
    • How can 3D contexts and avatars improve existing practices and tools?

We also want to explore the different ways to re-present ourselves and our activities in a 3D environment.

  • What can be the roles of ECA in managing these emerging forms of presence?
  • What are the possible representations and variations of behaviours that signal different aspects of togetherness?
  • How can we enrich the palette of signs and features that keep the community close if not actively engaged in a task?
  • How collaborative “work” can be represented?

These intelligent agents can represent ourselves when we are not available and it is possible to give them some tasks and behaviours. But the question is what kind of actions and attitudes are we ready to delegate?

We propose to follow a design research methodology to understand how 3D technologies open new perspectives for the collaborative application field.

  • State of the art of aesthetics of remote presence, artistic and cultural experiments of representation and mediation.
  • Prospective analysis: what collaborative situations, what typologies of status, research and non-research activities’ representations.
  • Scenarios and mocks up to come up with a number of recommendations on :
    • information and representations that could foster the group cohesion,
    • signs and functionalities that can promote remote team work and creation of a common identity.