Traces of Time through Space: Advantages of Creating Complex Canvases in Collaborative Meetings


Technology have long been a partner of workplace meeting facilitation. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the cautionary measures to reduce its spread have made it more prevalent than ever before in the form of online-meetings. In this paper, we recount our experiences during weekly meetings in three modalities: using SAGE2 - a collaborative sharing software designed for large displays - for co-located meetings, using a conventional projector for co-located meetings, and using the Zoom video-conferencing tool for distributed meetings. We view these meetings through the lens of effective meeting attributes and share ethnographic observations and attitudinal survey conducted in our research lab. We discuss patterns of content sharing, either sequential, parallel, or semi-parallel, and the potential advantages of creating complex canvases of content. We see how the SAGE2 tool affords parallel content sharing to create complex canvases, which represent queues of ideas and contributions (past, present, and future) using the space on a large display to suggest the progression of time through the meeting.