#WLAM2019 | Landscape design in a virtual world

For World Landscape Architecture Month, we’re taking a look at some of the ways we can push the boundaries in landscape architecture. The projects cover an array of concepts: the use of virtual reality in landscape design, site development that supports local ecosystems, and how nature-driven design can help facilitate healing and well-being.

First up, landscape design in a virtual world.

The future of camping

KOA gave us the freedom to imagine well beyond the boundaries of traditional design solutions, making it an exceptional collaboration.

– Adam Feldner,
Design Professional

When Kampgrounds of America (KOA) came to us to develop a scale model and 3D renderings of what the future of camping could look like, we took it a step further with virtual reality. Unveiled at RVX / The RV Experience, we created an immersive experience, putting people inside campsites with five different themes: Coastal, Desert, Forest, Mountain, and Urban.

It was a major hit. Demonstrating KOA’s forward-thinking approach, we delivered concepts that include tent sites on movable platforms to transport campers to more secluded areas; elevated campsites in the tree canopy or tucked up along mountain sides; campsites over (or even under) the water; delivery robots/drones for firewood and consumables; solar panels across environments to provide both power and shade where needed; automated site selection and check in; and even electric vehicle charging stations.

The process for developing each scenario was very collaborative, with KOA providing feedback each week at our local office. Our team described it as “an amazing client service experience,” coming together to imagine the unique and specific design direction each space would take based on its particular biome. For us, using VR technology to envision outside environments in this way was all new. To make it interactive for people in person at the event and also have it accessible via web and app meant for a lot of moving parts, all turned around in a couple months.

In the end, we had a very happy client.

COTF was a success! We had a lot of very positive and excited feedback about what had been built and a lot of great interaction. Thank you for your partnership on this project and your innovative and strategic thinking. Congratulations on producing a really groundbreaking piece of work for our industry.

– Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of KOA

Virtual reality lends an immersive perspective to imagining what the future of camping could look like. In this coastal environment, campsites are situated right next to the beach and water with drones and delivery”bots” to bring any needed supplies. 

In mountain and forest environments, campsites, recreation areas, and trails are elevated for different and more expansive views. 

Urban campgrounds bring the experience to the city with enhanced green space, recreation options, and room for family and group activities.

Explore for yourself at KOA’s Campground of the Future.