Virtual Forest - Using Virtual Reality to challenge politicians' climate perceptions

client: University of Helsinki


Virtual Forest

Designed to inform & influence Finnish policy makers, the “Virtual Forest” explores how current Forestry Management strategies and policies are contributing towards climate breakdown.

Fighting Unsustainable Forestry Policy

The 6 minute experience, led by the voice of Timo Vesala - Professor of Meteorology at the University of Helsinki, guides users through a hyper-real forest environment, combining verified science, creativity and domestic politics in one powerful story.
 This experience helps policy makers understand the impact of their decisions by triggering an emotional response about the fate of the forests.


The Finnish Forests

The Finnish forestry industry accounts for over 11.45 billion euros worth of exports each year, but the industries that these forests support are not as important as the forests’ natural purpose: converting & storing CO2 through photosynthesis. However, recent EU directives have promoted an increase in harvest levels, failing to account for the long-term climate impact. Under the current policy, in just 10-15 years (as of 2018), the Finnish forestry industry will be producing carbon at a faster rate than the forests can store it.


A journey into the Climate's future

Climate data can be abstract and difficult to relate to on an emotional level. As a result, the causes & symptoms of Climate Breakdown have failed to dominate the political agenda in Finland. This experience holds a microscope to the issue. Incorporating 3D information visualisation and animations, the Virtual Forest experience transports policy-makers forward in time to reveal the impacts of their policies in striking immersive detail.