Radical Placemaking: Utilizing Low-Tech AR/VR to engage in Communal Placemaking during a Pandemic

Kavita Gonsalves, Marcus Foth, Glenda Amayo Caldwell

pp.  143 - 164, download






The COVID-19 pandemic has made the struggles of the excluded louder and has also left them socially isolated. The article documents the implementation of one instance of Radical Placemaking, an “intangible”, community-driven and participatory placemaking process, in Kelvin Grove Urban Village (KGUV), Brisbane, Australia to tackle social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. KGUV community members were engaged in storytelling and interactive fiction online workshops to create experiential, place-based and mobile low-tech AR digital artefacts. The article expands on the methodology which involved a series of online workshops to design low-tech AR digital artefacts using digital collaboration tools (Google Classroom, Slack, Zoom) and VR environments (Mozilla Hubs). The study’s findings confirm the role of accessible AR/VR technology in enabling marginalised communities to create connectedness and community by co-creating their own authentic and diverse urban imaginaries of place and cities.    



Keywords:  augmented reality, AR, virtual reality, VR, urban informatics, pandemic, COVID-19, community building, participatory methods, urban imaginaries



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