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Grazing Through The Savannah 2006


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The nine principles of effective place design, derived from Evolutionary Biology, applied to museum and gallery design.

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Grazing Through The Savannah 2006

  1. 1. Grazing through the savannah Designing for optimal visitor experiences in Australian museums and galleries: what we can learn from Evolutionary Biology Gillian Savage 2006
  2. 2. Museums: high expectations, high performance <ul><li>Custodians of identity, heritage and culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important values (Plants=Life) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Living up to expectations and going beyond the basics depends on the foundation of excellent building design </li></ul>
  3. 3. Visitors are humans <ul><li>Human capabilities evolved in specific environments </li></ul><ul><li>Our health, performance and well-being are optimal when we are operating in the environment we evolved in </li></ul>
  4. 4. Performance indicators <ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><li>Studies show that people recover faster from operations in settings with natural light and nature views </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Studies show that students perform better on standard tests and have better attendance rates in classrooms with natural light and external views </li></ul><ul><li>Workpace </li></ul><ul><li>Measurably better productivity in settings with natural light and nature views </li></ul>
  5. 5. Savannah learning <ul><li>Strong links between natural settings and </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive performance – attentional tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Mood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>motivation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social functioning </li></ul></ul>Browsing :: Curious :: Enquiring :: Choosing :: Grazing Alice Isen
  6. 6. Environmental biology Mountain :: Desert :: Cave :: Forest :: Coast Savannah But we thrive in environments that have characteristics of the savannahs that human life evolved in. We can survive in a wide range of environments Stephen Boyd
  7. 7. Savannah
  8. 8. 9 hallmarks of savannah buildings <ul><li>Balance between visual access and visual enclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Visual perspectives – horizontal rather than vertical </li></ul><ul><li>Long sight lines </li></ul><ul><li>Presence of tree-like forms (especially overhead canopy) </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple retreats </li></ul><ul><li>Daylight </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate levels of patterned complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Movement – flicker, light changes, flying, waving </li></ul><ul><li>Low background noise </li></ul>
  9. 9. 1. Visual access – balance access and enclosure Art Gallery of NSW – enclosed spaces and view to places beyond
  10. 10. 2. Horizontal rather than vertical Art Gallery of NSW foyer – strong horizontal planes
  11. 11. Vertical = challenge Guggenheim Bilbao “ The atrium, a jewel of modern architecture, has hosted official events in need of dramatic scenery, such as presentations, catwalk shows, prize-giving events, lunches, dinners and cocktail parties.”
  12. 12. 3. Long sight lines Art Gallery of NSW
  13. 13. Long sight lines Redcliffe Museum
  14. 14. Limited sight lines National Museum of Australia
  15. 15. 4. Overhead canopy Melbourne Museum
  16. 16. 5. Multiple retreats Melbourne Museum
  17. 17. Multiple retreats National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
  18. 18. 6. Natural light National Museum of Australia
  19. 19. It’s night time National Museum of Australia
  20. 20. 7. Patterned complexity National Museum of Australia
  21. 21. Patterned complexity Museum of Tropical Queensland This open atrium has strong patterns
  22. 22. 8. Movement National Library of Australia People provide movement
  23. 23. Static Old Parliament House Touch screen brings some activity to this heritage space
  24. 24. Movement Old Parliament House Enactments bring activity to this heritage space
  25. 25. 9. Not too noisy Easy to hear normal speech Old Parliament House
  26. 26. Not the savannah – ‘toxic’ building checklist <ul><li>monumental </li></ul><ul><li>hard surfaces </li></ul><ul><li>dark </li></ul><ul><li>enclosed </li></ul><ul><li>tall and narrow </li></ul><ul><li>disordered </li></ul><ul><li>bland, institutional, overly ordered </li></ul><ul><li>noisy </li></ul>Burrow, rabbit warren, maze, stark, empty, barren, repetitive, off-key, unpredictable, confusing, cramped, too large
  27. 27. Not in Kansas Guggenheim Bilbao The vertical scale and hard surfaces create a challenging entry
  28. 28. Where are we going? National Museum of Australia
  29. 29. Coloured cave Melbourne Aquarium
  30. 30. Kids storytelling cave National Museum of Australia
  31. 31. Optimum environments <ul><li>Building and exhibition design based on available evidence from the biological and social sciences can enhance visitor experience and meet organisational missions more effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Imperative that briefs for new buildings and exhibition spaces are informed by existing scientific evidence about features that underpin effective functioning. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Savannah
  33. 33. Contact <ul><li>Gillian Savage </li></ul><ul><li>Environmetrics Pty Limited. </li></ul><ul><li>Locked Bag 2116 </li></ul><ul><li>North Sydney 2059 </li></ul><ul><li>Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Tel 61 2 9954 0455 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>