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Whereas creativity tasks have traditionally been supported by conventional media and tools, (such as paper, pens, scissors and glue), mobile phones, tablets and other devices based on interactive surfaces are increasingly been used as additional support. Large-sized multi-touch interactive surfaces appear as an interesting alternative for supporting collaborative creativity processes. However, they have mostly been used for visualization and navigation purposes. Their use as authoring means, which would be essential in creativity tasks, has only begun to be explored. We have identified a significant gap between the level of development tools and the abstractions required by end-user applications that aim to support creativity processes using interactive surfaces. Thus, we propose ISCALI (Innovation Solutions Centered on Activities for Large-sized Interfaces), a model that can be used both for describing and for prescribing the role of multi-touch surfaces in collaborative creativity tasks. Based upon ISCALI, we designed a general architecture for collaborative creativity applications; and we developed a set of building blocks, referred to as TOKAs (Touch Operations for Creative Activities). Applications that facilitate the use of various methodologies that foster collaborative creativity have been implemented by independent developers who have taken advantage of the availability of TOKAs. The implementation and use of TOKAs demonstrate ISCALI’s expressivity for describing and guiding the development of applications that support collaborative creativity on top of interactive surfaces.
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