Although graspable interfaces are often developed as support for cooperative (design) activities, there is still little research on cooperative use aspects. This paper explains the concept of graspable interfaces and analyses their potential as tool for cooperative design. It presents a theory on positive effects of graspable media on cooperation and supporting evidence. After examining effects, the paper presents a model how these effects relate with key characteristics of graspable interfaces. This model is sustained with empirical evidence from video analysis of cooperative design using paper as graspable medium. Results stress the importance of parallel manipulative activity and of non-verbal activity for involvement and active participation. Gestures, talk and visible artefacts interact in producing meaning. The analysis suggests issues for further research. and demonstrates that video analysis is a fruitful method for analysing use of graspable design media.
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