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Virtual environments as medium for laypeople to communicate and collaborate in urban design
journal contributionposted on 22.06.2021, 04:39 by S Chowdhury, Marc Aurel Schnabel
Regarding laypeople’s active participation with artefacts in the early stage of urban design, there is a certain difference between conventional urban design process and participatory urban design process. The design artefacts used in the conventional urban design process do not allow laypeople to take part actively in the early stages of the design process. Similarly, in the participatory design process, the generated design ideas remain hidden in assumption due to the lack of associated information of the artefacts and the participants perform as individual actors. The research speculates that a virtual immersive participatory design instrument can reduce the gap, where the participants can act together as a unit to produce authentic design outcomes. An Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE) assisted design experiment set-up has developed for laypeople to engage in a shared and enhanced communicative platform. The article reports the procedure of developing the instrument and discusses them in terms of design communication, participation and expert’s role. It concludes with a reflection of how laypeople as co-designers can use IVE instruments to design their neighbourhood meaningfully.