Seeing urban food futures: Funding success
We are pleased to let you know that, today, we heard of our success in bidding to Research England’s Participatory Research call. Our cross-disciplinary, community-university project Seeing urban food futures: Co-researching virtual reality as a scenario building tool will launch this month!
The project involves staff from two University-of-Brighton schools – School of Architecture Technology & Engineering (SoATE) and School of Sport & Health Sciences – and five community partners: Brighton and Hove City Council, Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Lewes District Food Partnership, the Education Health and Wellbeing Community Interest Company and Dr Mikey Tomkins, UoB alumni and arts & design food systems researcher. It is led by Prof Andre Viljoen (SoATE).
Jointly, we will develop co-produced virtual reality (VR) simulations visualising the potential integration of urban agriculture into neighbourhoods. We will use new equipment (f.e. head-sets) in SoATE where colleagues Castronovo and Piroozfar will work on the community co-designed VR experiment, utilising analogue engagement methods (mapping, drawing & walking) developed by Bohn, Viljoen and Tomkins, underpinned by systems (Sweeting) health and wellbeing (Martyn) expertise. This project has been devised with established and emerging community partners. It will build research capacity at UoB by cross- and inter-disciplinary research in the fields of analogue and digital design research, health, wellbeing and systems design. The blended use of analogue methods with VR is innovative. New VR resources in SoATE will immerse community members in co-designed interactive virtual environments, allowing users to feel spatially present in these imagined spheres and to engage with representations of urban food infrastructures. This method can elicit strong cognitive and emotional responses and highten environmental consciousness, which then can be used to inform real world environmental interventions and transformations. Focus groups with the community partners will evaluate the perceived value of food infrastructures and the benefit of the VR environment in informing such perceptions.
For further information on the project see here.
For information on Research England see here.
For information on the two University-of-Brighton schools involved see here.
Image: A food future visualisation in the centre of Brighton is planned as both, a physical walk and a virtual event. (source: Andre Viljoen 2022)