Korbin submits his thesis


Assessing Physical and Digital Participatory Model Making in Urban Design

Korbin Dasilva

Participatory model making, a tool that allows participants to explore and discuss urban design through the 3D interactive medium of building and modifying an urban design model, is currently underutilized as a participatory urban design tool, despite evidence in the literature that supports its potential. This study assessed participatory model making by holding model making sessions with neighbourhood associations across Vancouver, British Columbia. The participants used either a simple physical (LEGO®), or digital (SketchUp®) model making tool, that was set up to allow for the easy creation of models to explore the topic of sustainable neighbourhood design. This study found that participant’s ability to engage with the subject matter and discuss amongst each other was substantial when utilizing the model making tools. Furthermore the participants expressed that they strongly preferred using the model making tool to more traditional tools like maps and markers. Although both digital and physical model making tools were effective, the two mediums created a different model making process and group dynamic that is important for consideration when choosing between a digital or physical model making tools. Digital model making encouraged a more focused and controlled scenario while physical model making encouraged more wide open and energetic scenario.