Researchers in the field of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) have increasingly come to realize that artifacts play an important role in the coordination of cooperative work. This master thesis is an attempt to make an inquiry into the nature of artifacts and the coordinative practices employing them. Based on concepts of process, practice, materiality, context and the temporal nature of meaning, an attempted is made to develop an understanding of the coordinative roles of artifacts that take into consideration the complex interplay of coordinative practices and the material forms of artifacts.
Turning to the design implications of our inquiry we could perhaps suggest that we are not designing things when we are designing (digital) artifacts for the support of cooperative work, we are designing social and material practices. Along these lines, we could suggest that the successful design of digital artifacts for the support of cooperative work is at least equally dependant on the design of practices as on, for instance, the design of electronic circuits. Looking ahead, we could note that it could perhaps be of interest to explore the concepts of stigmergy and articulation work in relation to ubiquitous computing, with the purpose of informing the design of computer support for cooperative work.
Read also: Practices of Stigmergy in Architectural Work