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'shARed reality'

Municipality Eindhoven
Dynamo Jeugdwerk, JC de Energy

A PROJECT BY

Jennifer Baauw, Mae-Yin Chan, Elano Franken and Arjo Nagelhout

CHALLENGE

We were tasked with aiding the Municipality in ameliorating Eindhoven's city district Woensel-Zuid: an extremely broad task. In the end, we decided to focus on boosting the participation processes surrounding the many urban renewal projects going on in the district by reaching a more diverse group of residents, and especially the youth.

OUTCOME

For our project, we build a digital augmented reality (AR) tool. With this tool, residents are given the ability to intuitively and visually design their own neighborhood on-the-spot with their phone and share their ideas with others and the Municipality. This makes participation during redesign processes more accessible for those who have trouble expressing their ideas verbally due to e.g., a language barrier or a low level of education.

PROCESS

QUARTILE 1

In Quartile 1 we focused on getting to know Woensel-Zuid as a district. Due to its size and the variety of ongoing challenges, we decided to focus on the topics of livability, climate resilience and public space. We wrote an extensive report on these three topics and proposed multiple improvements to livability and climate resilience that could be achieved by changing public outdoor spaces.

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QUARTILE 2

During Quartile 2 we made our plans more concrete. First, we wanted to change a particular area ourselves, but we quickly learned that this was not possible within our timespan. Therefore, we decided to focus on improving the process happening prior to the renewal projects; the so-called participation process. Through research, we found that AR has the potential to greatly improve the accessibility of the participation process and is more appealing to the youth, but that it is not yet developed for the purpose of urban design by citizens. At the end of the quartile, we presented the Municipality with our findings and started building our own AR app called shARed reality to test the real-life potential of AR.

QUARTILE 3

In Quartile 3, we developed and tested our AR tool by doing user-tests with students and organizing a workshop in collaboration with Dynamo Jeugdwerk at JC de Energy, during which children designed the garden of the youth center with the use of AR and other methods. With the workshop's results, a designer created sketches for the garden that will be presented to the children in April 2022. To transfer the knowledge gained from developing the tool and organizing this workshop to the Municipality, we have written a guiding report that can serve as a knowledge base to continue experimenting with AR for participation.

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