The Role of Gesture in Designing

AIEDAM Special Issue, Summer 2011, Vol. 25, No. 3

Edited by: Willemien Visser & Mary Lou Maher

  • See Footnote 1

Design generally involves teams of designers collaborating on a design project. While individual participants in a design team may make independent contributions to the project, collaborative design assumes that contributions are based on the interaction among different participants. This interaction occurs through various modalities (semiotic systems): verbal interaction has so far received the most attention, both in research and in development, but graphical, gestural interaction and other modalities (gaze, posture, prosody) also play an important role. This special issue focuses on the role of gesture in designing.

Compared with verbal and graphical interaction, gestural expression has barely been analyzed in studies on collaborative design. Nevertheless, gesture has been shown to be used frequently by designers in their interaction and with varying functions (specification of design objects, but also management of interaction, for example).

The analysis of gesture's function in collaborative design has implications for environments that support remote collaborative design. Until now, they mainly support pen-based pointing or command gestures, but if such environments are to effectively support designers collaborating from remote locations, representational and other types of gestures must also be visible and transmitted to the design partners.

To advance this important topic, we seek papers that provide theoretical or empirical contributions to the role of gesture in designing, either in the context of computer supported collaborative design or as a precursor to designing effective collaborative design environments.

For this issue, papers are sought from artificial intelligence (AI), human-computer interaction (HCI), or computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) perspectives as well as cognitive-science disciplines, such as psychology and pragmatics.

The aim of this special issue on The Role of Gesture in Designing is to further discussion at the intersection of theory and practice.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical aspects of gesture in design interaction;
  • The role of gestures in design thinking;
  • Gesture and multimodal interaction in design interaction: gesture with speech, writing, drawing, and other modalities;
  • AI and cognitive models of gesture in design interaction;
  • The role of gesture and multimodal interaction in remote design collaboration;
  • HCI and studies of gesture in collaborative design environments;
  • New HCI technologies that enable gesture in design environments;
  • Gesture and multimodal interaction in CSCW design environments;
  • The role of gestures in defining an external representation of the design model (either to the computer or to a person).

All submissions will be anonymously reviewed by at least three reviewers. The selection for publication will be made on the basis of these reviews.

Information about the format and style required for AIEDAM papers can be found here.

However, note that all submissions for special issues go to the Guest Editors, and not to the Editor in Chief.

Important dates:
Intend to submit (Abstract & Title):As soon as possible
Submission deadline for full papers:EXTENDED TO 15 June 2010 ***
Reviews due:30 August 2010
Notification and reviews to authors:30 September 2010
Revised version submission deadline:15 January 2011
Issue to publisher:1 March 2011
Guest editors:

Please direct all enquiries and submissions to the guest editors. Please put "AIEDAM Special Issue" as the Subject.

Willemien Visser
Email: willemien.visser @

Mary Lou Maher
Email: mary @

**Footnote 1: From the DTRS7 dataset, 2007, P. Lloyd, J. McDonnell, F. Reid, and R. Luck.