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Open Adventures

The wild and natural spaces of the UK are a treasured resource, but lie in the balance of open access and conservation. As it sits today most National Parks have many barriers such as transport, knowledge, and awareness that disproportionately effect certain groups. Open Adventures imagines digital ways to provide access to parks through immersive experiences. The prototypes were developed in partnership with Dartmoor National park, where VR and full-dome environments were tested with community in Plymouth and with existing visitors to the park.
The immersive experiences are targeted at two audiences, people who aren’t able to access the park, and people who might need a different kind of introduction. For many with limited mobility National Parks may have few to no options, leaving immersion as potentially the next best thing to being able to reach the top of a tor or the middle of a river. And for people who may not know much about the park, and who are looking to access the park car free, immersive can give a full bodied preview to motivate people to take on the challenge of reaching the remote location.
‘Open Adventures’ imagines what hybrid access to nature could look like, but also hopes to have people ask how access to nature can be protected and accessible to even more people.

Through the testing of the different technologies and playing with different methods the two prototypes were developed to a playtestable and even deployable stage. While there were some immense challenges in the production of the products due to unforeseen circumstances that occurred during production, the final outputs came together well.
The Immersive film “A Dive into Dartmoor” was 5 minutes long, and included shots of the various leats, streams, and reservoirs of the park, as well as shots of the peatands and wildlife. The story of the film developed by a student of heritage was narrated overtop of ambient music and sounds of the moors.

The Dartmoor viewer was a light Unity application that took four different locations from the footage used in the immersive short film and put the user in a virtual stone circle from which to choose the four options. Each option (Tors, river, walking, forest) plays about a minute of 360 footage that the user can turn their head and see all around them. The shots have a variety of action with the Tors and Forest offering a more static scene. The river offers some dynamic feeling of water flowing all around. The walking scene, by far the most divisive in feedback views a path walking from a high up tripod height, giving the sense of “being on the back of an elephant”, this for a small number of users resulted in some discomfort or dizziness.

Mischa Price

University of Plymouth


Mischa is passionate about community co-design, transportation and mobility, and participatory public spaces. His research interests are in the future of access and mobility, and how to shape the experiences of cities through their transport systems. Their background is as a service designer working with diverse communities. They are from the unceeded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Watuth also known as Vancouver, Canada.

poster 9


Open Adventures Demo Video

A Dive into Dartmoor Immersive Film