Module M10 - Participatory 3D Modelling

Unit M10U03 - Hands-on Participatory 3D Modelling


Manufacturing a three-dimensional (3D) model is a demanding task which requires accurate planning and logistical preparation. This Unit summarises the process, from the preparatory work through the phase in which local knowledge holders depict their mental maps on the blank 3D model.

Delivering this Unit requires that the trainer construct a small 3D model (1.2 x 1.2 m at 1:10,000 scale) in advance of the Unit exercises. During the exercises, two or three informants who are knowledgeable about the area covered by the model are invited to bring about a real-world situation from which the trainees can learn. Trainers and trainees assist the informants in visualising their spatial knowledge on the model, making reference to the map legend. The trainees are assigned specific roles, including co-facilitator, observer and documenter. Inputs by informants are based exclusively on their mental recollections.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • facilitate a process in which informants visualise their spatial knowledge on a scaled, physical three-dimensional model;
  • organise multidisciplinary facilitation of the process;
  • list priority actions and critical steps in the facilitation process.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Preparation for reflection (Exercise No. 1 and Exercise No. 2) (20 min)
  2. Facilitation and observation of data input by informants (Exercise No. 3) (6 ½ hrs)
  3. Review of achievements versus expectations and lessons learned (Exercise No. 1 and Exercise No. 2) (40 min)

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)


7 ½ hrs (one day)

Additional trainer resources

  • Rambaldi G. and Callosa-Tarr J. 2002. Participatory 3-Dimensional Modelling: Guiding Principles and Applications. ARCBC, Los Baños, Philippines
  • 2002. "Giving Voice to the Unspoken": a 20-minute video production showing the hands-on aspects of Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM).
  • Rambaldi G. 2008. Democracy Walls, Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) 58:134-137; IIED, London, UK

Equipment needed

1.2 x 1.2 m carton board 3D model See handout “Illustrated Supply List for a P3DM Exercise” Video camera, notepads, pens

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