Minecraft Design Consultation: Mitcham's Corner, Cambridge

As part of a research project at the University of Cambridge Department of Architecture, we ran a design workshop for the Mitcham's Corner area in Cambridge using Minecraft. The workshop ran for 1 day on the 24th March, 2018 and was attended by 20 local residents from diverse backgrounds and age groups.

We were researching the use of Minecraft as a tool in participatory design and urban planning. Planning consultations are a hugely important process in the development of our cities and public spaces, and yet these consultations often fail to engage and communicate with those who are affected by such urban development.

We believe that Minecraft could be a solution to this; it is easy to learn, engages with a younger audience, and most importantly allows participants to design and construct their own design ideas in 3D.

During this workshop, Minecraft was used to discuss the constraints and possibilities of planning for the Mitcham's Corner area of Cambridge - an area of the City which is highly active, with many proposals for its' redevelopment being considered. Having created a Minecraft model of the existing site, workshop attendees were encouraged to design and create their own proposals for Mitcham's Corner.

The model below shows the results of the workshop - a hugely diverse and creative range of proposals were built by the workshop attendees, ranging from riverside seating areas to an underground transportation network. 

Special thanks to Alastair Boyles from The Friends of Mitcham's Corner Community Group for an insightful introduction to the Mitcham's Corner area, as well as Richard Hall from Collusion for the use of their Virtual Reality headset.