Model building and transposing
Firstly, a 3D model or virtual layers should be built for the target site with dedicated software, then transposed to VR/AR/MR software to enable the models/layers being showcased in VR/AR/MR hardware.
Instructions for use and safety training
Adequate instructions of how to explore in the model, how to turn on/off different layers in the model should be provided to the participants. In the case of using VR equipment, safety issues are not rare. Due to the immersivity, users may forget the physical surrounding of them and have the hazard of stumbling and running into objects nearby. Sometimes virtual reality devices can also cause nausea and dizziness. Therefore, if an organizer is providing venue and equipment, safety training and a second person who is acting as a spotter is recommended.
Showcase and data/proposal collection
This method can not only be used for demonstrating “how a future plan will look like after implementation”, but also allowing participants to explore, mark up, create, and design in the virtual environment. With AR, participants visit the study area with a phone/tablet, through which they can see information about the area and how alternative plans will look like. With VR, participants explore the virtual environment using a VR headset in a special venue or in their own place if they have the required devices. This method can be combined with other participatory planning methods such Digital Walkthrough, Decision Theatre and Participatory 3D Design, etc.
Data collection and storage
After the showcase, the information and data created by participants should be collected and stored for futher planning process.