Dear readers…I owe you an apology. I left you alone in the confusing and exhilarating world of zoos and aquariums. I left you to fend for yourselves; to find information on new exhibits and zoo design philosophy through the oft harrowing, oft frightening, and always tedious process of Googling (or Binging, if you’re a Windows devotee). I do apologize for leaving you this way. I am forever in your debt.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to share my re-dedication to our beloved webpage with you. I’ve got plans for us. I have a dream, one might say (appropriately for today).
Before I tell you future plans, let’s take a look at what we’ve missed together.
In 2010, as the economy slowly began to show signs of perking up, so did the zoo and aquarium market. Many projects entered construction, many zoos began master plans, and some zoos even opened new exhibits. Instead of posting each and every one of those openings, the bigs ones are conveniently summarized by the authors of “America’s Best Zoos: A Travel Guide” here.
Personally, I’ve been amazingly busy–as a direct result of the success of my employers, PGAV. Most of my year has been dedicated to a confidential project in Asia, causing me to visit 5 times over the course of the year. Additionally, my “little zoo that could” Big Bear Zoo has started up again with a new site and a renewed sense of urgency. We began work on a 15 year master plan with the amazing Columbus Zoo (Jack Hanna’s home base, for those who are unfamiliar), and we’ve won the master plan project for another promising zoo, the Tulsa Zoo.
Beyond billable hours, I’ve developed an in-house career development program for blossoming young zoo designers, called the Zoo Design Specialty Development Team. We’re halfway through the first year of the guinea pig group, and together we’ve all grown as designers.
So what does 2011 hold for all of us? I won’t claim to be clairvoyant, but I can create a plan. So, here it is for DesigningZoos.
1. Sharing progress and projects of PGAV’s Zoo Design Specialty Development Team (ZDSDT)
2. Sharing site visits and Zoo / Aquarium reviews completed by me and the ZDSDT
3. Opening up the floor to guest posts
4. Continuing to share resources
5. Continuing posting about new exhibits and other zoo news
So, welcome back everyone! If you have ideas for topics of posts or would like to share your thoughts in the form of a guest post, please contact me directly.