London Communities Re-design a Local Park Using VR

In an effort to help a local London community engage and help in redesigning a local park, Hobs 3D studio, Peabody Housing Trust and Jan Kattein Architects have launched the Claridge Way Community Co-Design Initiative – Ideas into Action. The initiative sees local virtual reality (VR) workshops take place for Thamesmead residents to have their input on how the local landscape is improved. 

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The VR workshops took place at Hobs 3D in Here East, London’s Home for Making, allowing guests to don a VR headse – some for the very first time – to share design ideas and help to educate each other on the development of projects.

Participants were able to create their own “VR worlds” using Epic Games’ in Unreal Engine, re-designing a public area with pre-made assets such as benches, swings and other items. Attendees also got hands-on with digital technology in a photogrammetry laboratory, using pre-made maquettes which will be scanned and taken into the virtual world.

The Claridge Way co-design collaboration is about communities designing their own spaces, along with having access to creative digital tools,” said Kadine James, 3D Tech Consultant at Hobs 3D in a statement. “Along the way, they will learn new tech skills and it will change the way that communities can participate in place-making. This is a pioneering project where individuals will be able to inform the design process, through the use of VR, 360° filming, 3D printing and photogrammetry.”

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Ewan Morrison, Head of Visualisation at Hobs 3D adds: “When Peabody approached us to create a brief around co-design and technology, I was quietly excited about the potential. VR technology was the ideal way to really allow participants to see Claridge Way from a new perspective, first hand. Our team at Hobs 3D created a unique, interactive VR experience, which allows the public to get involved, and have their say on the future development of Claridge Way. Using VR will truly aid in the co-design of this community initiative.”

VRFocus attended the event, sitting down with a range of representatives from Hobs 3D and Peabody to discuss how the initiative was helping shape and improve this local community. Check out the video below for further details. And for more local projects employing VR technology, keep reading VRFocus.