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Lamb Campground Design at the China (Beijing) International RV & Camping Exhibition.

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Designing The Chinese Campsite: Lamb Campground Design

Lead Designer Li Jun Discusses Geography, Amenities & Intention At China (Beijing) International RV & Camping  Exhibition

Li Jun At The China (Beijing) International RV & Camping  Exhibition. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]

Creating campgrounds and designing them around the customer is an art in itself. Each specific group has their own wants, needs and intentions in terms of what they want to see constructed. Geography, utterly important in China, especially in the differences in seasonal weather between the North and South, also dictates amenities. Li Jun, President of the Lamb Campground Design Firm, spoke with Tim Wassberg, Editor In Chief of MRV: The Buzz at the Beijing RV Show & Exhibition in China about vision, demand and the evolution of the Chinese campsite.

The Buzz: As a campground designer, what do you find are the best things for the Chinese consumer and when did your involvement begin?

Li Jun: In 2011, an RV manufacturer [came to us and said they] needed a campsite. They found us which led us to this field. The demand determines the market. We then met with RVIA to talk about RV standard and how RVs [would be] suitable for Chinese market.

The Buzz: Where did they want to have campsites?

LJ: The campsite was in Chengdu province. A Chengdu Company’s plan was to introduce Forest River brand to build a production basement. The aim of building the campsites was to let customers experience RV life and how to use RV in campsite [through that RV brand].

The Buzz: What are your most recent campsite designs?

LJ: Our most recent is in Heilongjiang Province and Liaoning Province.

The Buzz: What kind of geography is in these places?

LJ: Some campsites are built on the mountain, some built on the hills, some on the plains, some near the lake.

The Buzz: How are they specifically planned?

LJ: The area of the Heilongjiang camp is 20 mu while Liaoning is 3000 mu. Our designer group has traveled in Europe, the USA and Australia. At first we learned and researched campsites in these countries. Then with that information, we combined in Chinese customers’ demand and consumption habits as well as [present] government regulations. From there, we form our design.

On The Ground Landscaping From Lamb Campground Design. [Courtesy: Lamb Campground Design]
Platform & RV Sites Designed By Lamb Campground Design. [Courtesy: Lamb Campground Design]
Different View Of RV Sites Designed By Lamb Campground Design. [Courtesy: Lamb Campground Design]

The Buzz: What does the China RV lifestyle dictate in terms of campgrounds?

LJ: In China, different places have different RV lifestyles. There is great difference between northern China and southern China. For example, in the north of China summer is short and winter is long. In summer, the northern people like to go to [do activities] outdoors, especially aquatics. The north of China in summer is not very hot. However, the winter in the North is very cold. [For that reason there] we design a lot of indoor recreation facilities, especially for children. For example, we designed an indoor thermal spring.

The Buzz: What specifically has been your background in design?

LJ: When the Chengdu Province Company found us to design their campsite, we didn’t agree at once…because we didn’t have the experience of building campsites. Before we designed campsites, we had the experience of landscape design such as forest parks. But through in depth-study we think the design of campsite belongs to the regular pattern of historical development. That is why we finally decided to start this job. That is why I went abroad to learn and brought experience back. That way, we combine experience with domestic demand.

The Buzz: Having gone to Europe and the USA what is the most important lesson you brought back?

LJ: We learned the way of ecological construction and how [to make] the campsite connect with nature. In China many designs are urbanized. We also learned that campsites [really] need to build supporting facilities for the outdoors, such as public restrooms, bathrooms, public kitchen, child playgrounds and so on. Many years ago Chinese people went to the city from the countryside, and now the campsite makes it so that the people start going from the city to the countryside.

The Buzz: The RV industry in China is booming. Why is that? Does it give it more jobs? Is it because the Chinese people are connected more to nature now?

LJ: For the government…the government guides the development needs of the industry which needs the service industry to stimulate consumption. RV campsites are a good way to stimulate consumption. For the market, according to more than twenty years of marketization, [it is found that] people living in Chinese cities are in high tension. Children, especially, need the way to come back to nature. [All that time] Chinese campsites are developing in this background. A simple sentence summary: Today’s American and European campsites are Chinese future.

 

Tim Wassberg

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts with degrees in Film/TV Production & Film Criticism, Tim has written for magazines such as Moviemaker, Moving Pictures, Conde Nast Traveler UK and Casino Player. He enjoys traveling and distinct craft beers among other things.

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