Settings for Collaboration: the Role of Place

  • Luigina Ciolfi
  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick
  • Liam Bannon


In this era of digital media and virtual reality, the terms “space” and “place” are often used interchangeably by people, with references to virtual places and physical spaces being found just as often as references to virtual spaces and physical places. Yet, at the same time, there has been an increased interest in recent years in recovering the meaning of place, with attempts to delineate its features, and examine its meaning from a variety of perspectives – philosophical, geographical, historical, etc. Some of the works analysing place that have been examined include Canter (1977), Casey (1997), Malpas (1999) and Tuan (1977). Here we are interested in how this discussion has evolved within the general field of human interaction with computers, and how such concepts can influence our designs for new technology applications that provide new forms of communication media.

Among the first to focus on this topic, Erickson (1993) and Harrison and Dourish (1996) suggested that...



Little did we realize when we set out on this path that so much effort, by so many people, would be required in order to bring it to fruition! Firstly, we are very appreciative of the authors who took the trouble to submit their manuscripts for consideration in this Special Issue. Secondly, we are very grateful to the large number of reviewers that accepted the unenviable task of reviewing this material, in some cases working through a number of iterations of the papers. Reviewers were: Annette Aboulafia, Par Ågerfalk, Phil Agre, Mark Blythe, Susanne Bødker, Cristian Bogdan, Peter Bøgh Andersen, Geof Bowker, Barry Brown, Monika Büscher, Matthew Chalmers, Michael Cooke, Guy Dewsbury, Mike Fraser, Anne Galloway, Elisa Giaccardi, Antonietta Grasso, Richard Harper, Steve Harrison, Jon Hindmarsh, Eva Hornecker, Quentin Jones, Rob Kitchin, Jesper Kjeldskov, Boriana Koleva, Lee Komito, Eric Laurier, Christian Licoppe, Per Linde, Rose Luckin, Patrizia Marti, John McCarthy, Paul McIlvenny, Preben Mogensen, Leysia Palen, Mark Perry, Marisa Ponti, Dave Randall, Rebecca Randell, Toni Robertson, Yvonne Rogers, Duska Rosenberg, Abi Sellen, Dan Shapiro, Laurel Swan, Danae Stanton Fraser, Alex Taylor, Marianne Tolar, Dirk vom Lehn.

We also wish acknowledge the participants at the 2005 ECSCW Workshop “Settings for Collaboration: The Role of Place” for their enthusiasm which encouraged us to proceed with this project. Many thanks to all at the CSCW Journal, and particularly to Kjeld Schmidt for facilitating this special issue.

Finally, we acknowledge the support of Science Foundation Ireland, IRCSET – the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, and The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (Platform Grant – Human Centred Technology Research Group GR/T10053/01) for their support to the editors during the preparation of this special issue.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luigina Ciolfi
    • 1
  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick
    • 2
  • Liam Bannon
    • 1
  1. 1.Interaction Design Centre, Department of Computer Science and Information SystemsUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  2. 2.Department of InformaticsUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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