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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Jiawei Wu

Jiawei studied architecture at both Wuhan University and the University of Dundee. He served several design agencies and internet companies before IDE. In IDE, he combines his knowledge in architecturegame design, XR and strategy design to find innovation opportunities. What's more, Jiawei is interested in postmodern philosophy and willing to understand & analyse new concepts like web3 with philosophical thinking.

Jiawei works at the intersection of the physical and the digital. He believes that Innovation Design Engineering methods will help him combine the physical and digital to provide a better experience to people.

Show Location: Kensington campus: Darwin Building, Lower ground floor

Jiawei Wu-statement

Access City Builder is an AR crowdsourcing game for mapping and building an accessible urban environment. It can allow all citizens to scan and map the accessibility of public spaces together. With this game, players can see digital characters on their mobile phones. The ability of those digital characters is the same as a wheelchair user. So characters cannot pass specific barriers, and players need to help them pass by placing digital facilities. Through constant playing, the system will record the accessibility of public spaces and the location information about where to build new accessible facilities.

Insights to Tasks, media item 1
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Insights to Tasks, media item 1

According to data from the United Nations, more than 1 billion disabled people will live in cities by 2050. A large percent of them are wheelchair users, but why can't we see so many wheelchair users on the streets. One of the main reasons is that the current urban environment is not easily accessible. I conducted a workshop with some wheelchair users and found out that they are unwilling to go out and explore the city because they don't know which part of the city they can experience freely. Sometimes they will encounter unexpected difficulties like large-angle slopes, unexpected stairs and low quality pavement. For them, going out can be troublesome. This uncertainty stops them from going out. What’s more, after the interviews I found it is also hard for the local council to find and determine which part of the city area they need to improve because the workload is huge.

Since the top-down solution is impossible, I switched my mindset and found a bottom-up way to let all citizens join and map out an “Access Urban Environment Map” for disable citizens together by playing a game. What’s more, this map can also inform government about where to put disable facilities efficiently.

Gameplay, media item 1

In Access City Builder, players can see many digital characters on their mobile phones. Players need to help digital characters to expand their territories in the digital world. The ability of those digital characters is the same as a wheelchair. So when characters encounter ramps that are too steep, ditches that are difficult to cross, and borders that are too high, they cannot pass, and players need to help them pass by placing digital facilities in these places. Through constant play by players, digital characters can gradually expand their digital territories. Players can earn tokens. The system will also record the location information in the city about where are accessible and where need to have more accessible facilities.

System Diagram, media item 1

All stakeholders can benefit from Access City Builder; wheelchair users can have an "Access Urban Environment Map", the local council can use all their money to build accessible facilities instead of trying to find where to build them, access facility builders can have more cases to do.

In the future, I want Access City Builder can serve not only wheelchair users but also other people who need an accessible urban environment. For example, we can use the principle of crowdsourcing games to help check the continuity of tactile paving.

To achieve that, I need to develop different gameplay forms and bring more kinds of digital characters into the world of Access City Builder. With those characters, we can build an accessible future together.