Previous Project

Multi-touch tabletop interfaces are gaining popularity as platforms for collaborative interaction with digital information that move away from the traditional desktop computing paradigm. Much of the research in this realm has focused on the technical and design issues related to building collaborative applications for the digital tabletop. The WorkTop project looks at whether a digital tabletop is in fact an appropriate platform for workplace collaboration, specifically for interdisciplinary design teams. By choosing a specific domain and design task, and designing and developing an application to support a team of interdisciplinary designers in that task, we hope to show that, at least for the type of work we are supporting, a multi-touch tabletop can enable and enhance collaborative work. Our pilot studies have revealed that when interdisciplinary design teams collaborate face-to-face, it is quite often for brainstorming purposes, and that it usually involves sketching to communicate and record ideas. Within this context, we are designing and developing a multi-touch sketching application for use in interdisciplinary design teams. This application supports a fluid work process, multiple people sketching at the same time on shared or separate canvases, as well as personal drawing tools for each user.

Related Paper

2011-SketchTop: design collaboration on a multi-touch tabletop

Start Date

Jan. 1, 2009

Finish Date

Dec. 15, 2010


Paul Clifton

Tina Lee

Natasha Powell


Ali Mazalek


Claudia Rebola