YOUR POCKET GUIDE TO SAVE THE ANIMALS
A felting and info booklet project
dedicated to all the wonderful creatures that share our planet :)
I always believe interesting, beneficial places like a zoo or an aquarium, which could provide children with biological and conservational knowledge, will become a magnet that brings youngsters closer to nature, and help them break away from their bad habits of sitting in front of the screen all day long. I would love to look more closely at the role of zoos and aquaria in modern societies, their spatial and visual design, merchandisings, and the most appropriate, modern, and humane path to develop them in the future.
It is debatable when it comes to the pros of cons of developing zoos and aquaria, but for this project I will just explore one of the brighter sides of them, which is being an useful educational channel for children to learn about the natural world. Zoos and aquaria could be really important to the development of children psychology and moral standards as well, therefore I was looking to create an outcome that could teach children valuable lessons on protecting and supporting the animals – and what else could be better than zoo merchandise products? My idea is to design a new range of zoo merchandising – interior decorations that provide children with scientific facts about wildlife and educate the young generation to love animals. It was necessary to look at worldwide famous zoos to see how they develop these products. I wasn’t impressed at all because most of them were mass-produced and look very generic and boring – I was especially disappointed with products with only the zoo’s logo. These products are more like souvenirs than an educational tool about nature. My intention was to design a product that doesn’t look cheap, preferably hand-made, and particularly must deliver scientific information values.
Felting was the brand new technique that I wanted to challenge myself with in this project. This is the first time I tried felting and I realized that it is such a perfect and remarkable way to carry out this project since the realistic furry effect of felting suits the idea of bringing animals closer to children that I aimed for. I think that when holding such a unique product like this on their hands, everyone, let alone children, would appreciate it more. Notably, children can’t really break this product because the softness of fiber makes it easily bendable. I decided that there will be three animals created: the rabbit, the fox and the bee. They will be delivered in a form of felted animals presented in scenery boxes, each of which come with one informative, illustrated booklet. I chose the hexagonal box shape, because if we put them together on the store shelves, it would look like a giant beehive, which creates a sense of a family.
The information booklet about the animals is another essential point of this project. I often find infographic booklets from National Trust and other conservancy organisations quite boring and not really attractive enough for children to actually read the information contained in them. Therefore I designed a new one with more illustrative elements combined with my familiar vibrant palette. I also gathered information from trusted sources like Peta.org, WWF,… to create a valuable product from within. The content for Your pocket guide to save the bees was genuinely inspired by the same booklet produced by The Nature Conservancy last summer.
Overall, I am glad to see that the products turned out to be just the way I expected. These three felted animals in wooden boxes and the integrated booklets would be such adorable and unique details decorating the children’s rooms and will also teach them valuable information about their natural friends. Having always been passionate in delivering the relationship between human and nature in all of my previous works, I believe that just screaming out propaganda is not enough to make a difference or to influence people’s mind, especially for children. Something like this would probably do -^.^-
The only thing I regret is not having enough time to felt more animals. If there were 5-6 more, the combination of the hexagonal boxes would certainly look wayyy more impressive like a giant “we are one family” unity. I would love to see these products on a shelf of a zoo store one day. In the future with the following projects, I will certainly continue with this promising flow of combining knowledge on animals with my skills, with the hope of inspiring children to gain genuine interest in the wonderful creatures that share our planet : )