Digital tools systems play an increasingly central role in human creativity. Yet, we know little about how these tools affect the creative process. As a result, many tools are poorly suited to support creative practices, especially when it comes to collaboration. For instance, very few digital tools employed in the creative industries directly support collaborative creative sessions, and most of the software employed only allows one person using one computer to work on a file at a time; sharing it with others implies a string of tasks that break the creative flow and impede quality and productivity.
CoCreate, a four-year research project (2017-2021) funded by the Velux Foundations and directed by Peter Dalsgaard, tackles this issue head on to develop a better understanding of the role and nature of digital tools in collaborative creativity. On the one hand, this will give us a richer understanding of both collaborative creativity and digital tools; on the other hand, it can help us build better digital tools for supporting collaborative creativity in the future. In the project, we will therefore both study the benefits and shortcomings of digital tools used in creative work today, and combine this knowledge with insights from humanistic IT research to develop and deploy prototypes of novel digital tools that present meaningful alternatives to how we can integrate digital tools in the creative process.