Implications on facilitating interaction in public hearings with virtual models

Janne Porkka, Mirkka Rekola, Timo Kuula, Kalle Kähkönen, Jukka Rannisto

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    Interaction is one of the key elements in current design practice. When project stakeholders have prosperous and balanced interaction with numerous disciplines involved in design formation and decision-making, and interaction towards end-users is fruitful to both directions, this usually leads to a successful project. Visualisation is seen as an efficient way to reduce communication difficulties. Virtual reality in particular, has been found to offer promise for design visualisation to convey messages between different stakeholders. In other words, visualisation lowers a threshold to participate, even with varied backgrounds. This paper presents findings from observations and experiences in three public hearing events organised in a large infrastructure construction
    project in Finland. The intention was to facilitate citizen interaction via the use of virtual models in communicating plans, whereas design drawings and maps for communication are simultaneously present as well. Activity theory was used as a starting point when the resulting interaction was to observe and the obtained data was analysed. The empirical findings comprise observations (138 participants) in three events, from which the data was gathered using virtual model questionnaire (sample 41) and virtual model in tablet questionnaire
    (sample 11). Results indicate that a clear majority of those involved has positive attitude towards the use of virtual models. Based on questionnaires, virtual model as ‘instrument’ seems to change the ‘division of labour’. Interestingly, the more models are used the more benefits participants seem to experience and satisfaction to event increases. However, virtual models seem to be a rather sensitive matter. Other supplementing ‘instruments’ need to be used to facilitate communication successfully. It was found out that citizens have more courage in events to discuss in smaller groups instead of a large audience. Thus, it is suggested that group work should be the main working practice whenever possible, since this forms an effective work method for interaction between citizens and planning team. New technologies provide interesting opportunities for non-expert interaction to facilitate interaction. The aim for future is to find a meaningful way to balance group dynamics with more communicative work practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality & Islamic Architecture
    EditorsNashwan Dawood, Sabah Alkass
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event14th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, CONVR 2014 - Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
    Duration: 16 Nov 201418 Nov 2014
    Conference number: 14


    Conference14th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, CONVR 2014
    Abbreviated titleCONVR 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


    • large project
    • virtual reality
    • public hearing event
    • activity theory
    • interaction
    • user feedback


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