May 22, 2019

Lecture at the Zoo Design Conference in Wroclaw
Thijs de Zeeuw

ZOOOF will present their state of the art -work in progress- research and design work on the Zoo of The Future at the international bi-annual Zoo Design Conference in Wroclaw 2019

In the Anthropocene, man is seen as a natural force, redesigning planet Earth. Whether we like it or not, ecosystems are transformed and humans become an inevitable part of every habitat on earth.


One of the ways to deal with this reality at the zoo is designing sustainable habitats based on agency and affordances [J. Gibson]. This will lead to new landscape images and new meaning to our relation with animals. And therewith opens up a new design idiome for the zoo.


The Asian Elephant enclosure for ARTIS, Royal Zoo of Amsterdam served as a design pilot to explore and elaborate on this approach. Our goal was to design the best possible landscape for Asian Elephants in an urban environment. It resulted in a landscape design based on the potential behaviour of the animals, giving them a wide variety of motives for interaction with each other and their surroundings.


Subsequently this approach lead to a research and design project: ‘ZOOOF’, researching four different ways of looking at the zoo of the future.