Adria Mobil - Astella
Rethinking the Caravanning Experience
How joining forces with Adria Mobil over the course of ten years gave rise to a new confidence, encouraging us to expand the notion of caravanning itself.
ClientAdria Mobil, Slovenia
Looking for a new niche
Having been on a journey together since 2009, Adria Mobil entrusted us with a daring new mission. The company’s rise among the most sought-after caravanning brands of the past decade has led to a newfound courage that called for a new strategy. Our goal was to reconceptualise the caravanning experience to enable Adria Mobil to enter a new category of luxury caravanning products. But how do you do that and keep the appeal in a world of fast-changing life and vacationing styles?
Back to nature
Central to our approach was the design research for which we gathered over 450 user insights from 5 fairs around Europe. We discovered that caravanning is no longer popular for its affordability but rather for the luxury of enjoying one’s own comforts, while being close to nature. Users expect their home on wheels to be just like their home – set in beautiful natural surroundings. At the same time, our new design concept would need to prove caravans are still relevant in the hyper-connected yet increasingly individualist world full of accessible accommodation options.
A new shape - a new experience
We began by defining the exterior shape together with aerodynamics experts from Pipistrel. We discovered that when the caravan is in line with the towing vehicle, there are in fact no benefits in the caravan front and rear wall being sloped. The result was a cuboid shape, enabling us to work with space much similar to a mobile house. The straight walls brought another innovation: a set of extensive panoramic doors, allowing for a closer connection between indoor and outdoor living.
We built other features around the fundamental premise of living comfort. We designed three different layouts, each one focused on elevating the experience of a specific user scenario: extensive seating & living room area for comfortable lounging; open kitchen and dinette for dining and social gathering; and a sumptuous bedroom for rest and relaxation with unobstructed views of nature.
Easy folding mechanisms were built into all elements, allowing the effortless transformation of space. Approaching the design from a more architectural rather than automotive perspective also defined our choice of finishes; contemporary upscale materials and toned-down textiles convey elegance and spaciousness.
When first introduced at Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf in 2019, Astella was a showstopper. With a bold yet unassuming shape, a clear overall concept and well thought out details, it captures the essence of calm and comfortable living, connected both to the surroundings and the chosen company. Its inventive concept created a completely new niche which – much similar to glamping – attracted people who were not avid campers and caravanners but most frequently used to the comfort of hotel rooms, while at the same time seeking peace and closer connection to nature.
But perhaps the biggest reward was perhaps less tangible, but even more valuable. Close cooperation of teams required for setting up new standards and processes resulted in creating new synergies, uncovering new sources of innovation, and elevating the motivation of everyone involved the project.