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Computer game technology as a tool for participatory design

By Carl O'Coill and Mark Doughty

Abstract

This paper reviews existing research into real-time visualisation in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture and describes a University of Lincoln research project exploring the application of this technology to participatory design in a community-based, urban landscaping project. Staff at the School of Architecture have used ‘Virtools Development’, a computer game prototyping package, to help residents in Hull, UK, to visualise and interact with a design proposal for a ‘home zone’ in their neighbourhood, arrived at as part of a wider participatory process. This paper evaluates computer game technology in relation to more conventional participatory tools. It is diffcult to justify using the technology to create simple 'walk through' simulations of design proposals, it argues. In such cases the benefits real-time, interactive visualization brings to the participatory process are outweighed by the technical difficulties involved in the production and use of real time environments

Topics: G610 Software Design, G450 Multi-media Computing Science
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:97

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