Planning & Immersion Research

28th February 2019
Planning & Immersion Research

Stride Treglown is teaming up with Bath Spa University to explore how immersive technologies can be used in the planning process.

The research project is being funded by the South West Creative Technological Network, a £6.5 million project to expand the use of creative technologies across the South West of England, focussing on three challenge areas: Immersion, Automation and Data.


From spatialised sound to augmented reality overlays, emerging technologies give developers, creatives and performers new ways to blend physical and virtual worlds. However, to fulfil their potential in terms of use, design and implementation, we need to explore immersive experiences from multiple perspectives and in different domains.

While significant investment is being made in a range of platforms to deliver immersive experiences, we want to enable bold, interdisciplinary thinking around future content, tools, services and applications. If the potential of immersion is to be fully realised in new markets and emergent forms of cultural experience, bridges between arts and digital technology, marketplace and research, need to be built.

An opportunity

As a member of Stride Treglown’s Visualisation group, Juan López ‘visualised’ an opportunity to participate.

Architects and Town Planners use a common language to communicate ideas: Visualisation. Throughout history this language has evolved, from 2D sketches to 4D visuals. Immersion represents the last step in this dimensional journey. It enables a broader access to our ideas, as people visualise them with their own eyes. Immersion also allows interaction with the content and displaying data in an understandable way.

Immersion is already bringing interesting benefits to the construction industry. So why not use it during the planning process?

The research project

Harnessing the practical application of immersion through the planning process to enhance communication between the stakeholders, we aim to work as a bridge between the Planning Portal with whom we will identify problems and goals, and the developers with whom we will produce a prototype.

We aim to have a positive impact in stakeholder interaction, at multiple levels:

  • Improved communication;
  • Enhanced engagement;
  • Easier access to the process;
  • Boosted creativity;
  • Gained efficiency;
  • And ultimately influencing national policy making.

We are organizing two workshops. The first workshop, hosted by us, will lead us to a brief discussed with the Planning Portal about its difficulties when dealing with the stakeholders. The second workshop, hosted by Bath Spa University, will lead us to a prototype discussed with the developers according to that brief.

But what’s our role exactly?

We don’t make political decisions and we don’t program applications. We are architects – we do architecture.

Due to our size and innovative approach, we can lead a vision able to trigger a beneficial change for the public. We aim to become the spark that sets the fire.

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