EcoQuest: Interactive Education Exhibit
05 / 2017
255 West Broad St.
The EcoQuest Interactive Education Exhibit is a sustainable exhibit that focuses its efforts on educating young minds on the topics of environmental stewardship. Through this exhibit experience, children will become more aware and feel personally connected to the environment in which they live, compelling them to make a difference. In an effort to influence the next generation of humans, Ecoquest provides the opportunity and platform for children to become decision makers in sustainable development.
Design Concept Statement
The intent behind the design of EcoQuest: Interactive Education Exhibit is to present the topic of sustainability to children in a manner that inspires them, invokes natural curiosity and creates a sense of interconnectivity between them and the world in which they live, specifically the Athens community. Each exhibit space was designed with the purpose of conveying core principles of sustainability while emerging the children into an environment to which they could relate. The children are introduced to the problems facing sustainable development through the task of a quest to save the main tree of life exhibit from death. Materials were carefully considered throughout the spaces to be environmentally friendly, noise absorbent and realistic for their intended purpose.
The EcoQuest Exhibit uses innovative, interactive technology to educate the children on environmental issues while maintaining an exploratory arena. The implementation of technology in the form of AI scanning allowed for a clear path of circulation throughout the spaces and also provided educational information when activated or scanned by a child. This exhibit is universally designed to be ADA compliant so that no child misses out on the opportunity to learn and become a decision maker in sustainable development.
CHILDREN WAITING AREA
CAFE & WAITING AREA
MAIN EXHIBIT: TREE
Plans & Sketches
This generation of children is used to instant access to information because of the prevalence of technology. Their ease with electronic devices started at an early age. EcoQuest utilizes this technology to teach children about sustainability through the use of interactive touch floors, interactive walls and an interactive “smart” compass in hopes that this information will be easier to understand and relatable.
Interactive Touch Floors & Walls
Using the Gtek systems, the interactive floors and walls are placed throughout the exhibit spaces to convey a virtual reality. They help simulate nature and aid in the realistic feeling of the spaces. The floors are also touch sensitive and respond to whatever interaction is felt thus elevating the sense of reality.
Interactive "Smart" Compass
The smart compass was a camera lens on the front and works similarly to a barcode scanner or the Snapchat filter technology that is so prevalent amongst other applications Once a child holds the compass up to a gem, it will scan that gem and display information to the child through the compass screen and also through the speakers. Each gem will have different educational sustainable focuses. By teaching the children inside of a space they feel connected to, they will relate that space to the outside world and become aware of their daily choices. Changing their outlook will impact their decisions and the decisions of the next generations.
Main Building Location
The EcoQuest building is located on Broad Street, two blocks from the famous UGA Arch. This location was chosen for this design practice due to its proximity to the UGA campus and high traffic volume.
The node, located on Broad Street next to the UGA and Athens Transit bus stops promotes alternative transportation in the form of bike sharing. By providing easy-to-use bike racks, solar charging stations, and information on UGA's watershed and bike sharing initiatives. Students waiting for the bus will now have another means of transportation around campus.
The second node is located off of South Lumpkin Street, next to Barrow Elementary School. This mushroom-inspired node is a vertical bike rack equipped with watershed and sustainability information in an effort to direct people to EcoQuest's main building location.
Materials & Finishes
natural light usage
reclaimed exterior building materials
sustainable interior materials
energy efficient lighting
enhanced indoor air quality
promotion of community awareness