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Exhibiting Zoo Animals

Discussion in 'TV, Movies, Books about Zoos & Wildlife' started by Vulpes, 4 Mar 2016.

  1. Vulpes

    Vulpes Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody read this book? I am considering buying it but I have bought books on exhibiting zoo animals in the past and they have been little more than a general overview.

    Can anyone give me a synopsis of the book and briefly tell me what sort of detail the book goes into?

    I love buying books, but they must be of a high standard.

    Thanks

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    [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exhibiting-Zoo-Animals-Erik-Vliet/dp/3865232582/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457085271&sr=8-1&keywords=exhibiting+zoo+animals"]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exhibiting-Zoo-Animals-Erik-Vliet/dp/3865232582/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457085271&sr=8-1&keywords=exhibiting+zoo+animals[/ame]
     
  2. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    Erik van Vliet is a well known exhibit designer from the Netherlands and also as a person he is a very inspiring storyteller, very eager to share his ideas and thoughts about zoo design. Both his experience as his views on design are very present in the book and also language wise it is well written. The book itself is focused on the design of the exhibit without going into the details of individual exhibits, more about which choices to make and why Erik would make which choice.
     
  3. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed it very much; I know some others haven't (it got a lukewarm review in Zoo Grapevine, for example). It's very much a polemic, suggesting one particular way of presenting animals, without much acknowledgement that there might be a mixed approach possible. Quite theoretical, too - few if any specific examples. But I would wholly recommend if you have any interest in zoo design - it's intelligent and thotutful, and pretty well written.
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    that's a horrible cover for a book!
     
  5. Vulpes

    Vulpes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information. I will let you know what I think
     
  6. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Agree with criticism, but I would urge any individual or company thinking about zoo design to read this book. It is amazing how many recent, multi-million zoo exhibits have so obvious design flaws as visible staff door in the middle of expensive naturalistic rock, or sight lines so designed that visitors look at each other or buildings over the exhibit.

    In the Netherlands, too, there is one 'African savanna' exhibit with the background of very busy and noisy high-speed train line, and another with the background of old multi-storey houses and sailboats.
     
  7. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but your comments imply that this is wrong, and that the only way to go is to try to kid the visitor into believing that they are actually in Botswana (a fool's errand, in my opinion). I love the view of the African animals at Artis. No, it doesn't make me think I'm in Africa, but then neither do more "immersive" exhibits elsewhere. It does look great though - stylish, interesting, and affording a good view of the oryx, zebra and so on.
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I thought this was a good exhibit too. From memory it has blocks of modern flats or some other buildings as a backdrop but this does not seem
    to detract from it- you know you are in a Zoo and not Africa. I imagine the buildings have an equally good, if different view of it too.
     
  9. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    I cannot see the sense of reality-true rocks and bushes, which need to be protected by electric wire and so the exhibit is a maze of narrow corridors for the scimitar-horned oryx, when a row of tall houses is looming behind.

    I was wondering that it could be meant as advertisement of the zoo from the outside - but why from a canal? Or, maybe zoo director lives in one of these houses. ;)

    Artis is, anyway, architect's nightmare dream. Every exhibit is in a different style, and often 2 or 3 completely different styles are bordering each other. Even for me, who is usually completely indifferent to architecture, it was giving tooth-ache.
     
  10. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    Your initial point about flaws may be valid, but Artis is a bad example.

    Artis is a city zoo that wants to be part of the city of Amsterdam, so this open character of the savannah fits perfectly.

    Artis is also one of the oldest zoos in the world, with an amazing history, this is only reflected by the amount of zoo buildings from all eras everywhere, see it as a history book... A "challenge" is also that basically every older building has monumental status...
     
  11. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Rather strange newspeak. Does it mean that all the other zoos don't want to be the part of their home cities?

    I am not aware of monumental status of e.g.: minimalistic, functional camel paddock next to mid-20.century geometric all-concrete macaque island next to ibex paddock mimicking old European brick house.

    19. century city house is touched at one side by technocratic metal aviary, from another side by purely functional bison paddock straight out of a cattle farm, and inside has 1980's kitschy exhibit with fake Aztec temple straight out of a cheap amusement park.

    There is also Indonesian native house of exoticism, technocratic museum-style underwater sealion viewing, charming waterfowl pond from a typical English park, purely functional chimpanzee cage, and every other style of zoo exhibit imaginable. It is as if when some zoos collected one of every species of animal, Artis collected one example of every kind of zoo architecture. ;)