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Use of Virtual Environment and Virtual Prototypes in Co-Design: The Case of Hospital Design

Faculty of Information Technology and Communication, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland
The Hospital District of South Ostrobothnia, 60220 Seinäjoki, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Computers 2019, 8(2), 44;
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 12 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented and Mixed Reality in Work Context)
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Co-design is used for improving innovation, obtaining better solutions, and higher user satisfaction. In this paper we present how the use of a walk-in virtual environment and actual-size virtual prototypes support co-design. Unlike in most studies we presented the prototypes to users in an early phase of the design process. This study examines the co-design of healthcare facilities with multi-occupational groups. The practical case examines designing single-patient rooms for an intensive care unit. In this design process 238 participants of different hospital professions evaluated virtual prototypes in three iterative rounds. The participants improved the design by discussing their work practices. The virtual environment situation and actual size virtual prototypes make an easy environment for users to discuss and evaluate the design without any design knowledge. In addition to describing the co-design results we also outline some important issues and guidelines about creating the virtual prototypes and organizing the participants’ visits in a virtual environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: co-design; virtual prototypes; virtual environment; hospital co-design; virtual prototypes; virtual environment; hospital

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Tiainen, T.; Jouppila, T. Use of Virtual Environment and Virtual Prototypes in Co-Design: The Case of Hospital Design. Computers 2019, 8, 44.

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