Project 3: storytelling in zoos

Teacher and student were always the connection between zoos and visitors. Nowadays, a shift is visible from education to experience. Storytelling remains a widely used tool in creating experiences in all leisure activities. Zoos worldwide and their stories were the final topics the last project revolved around. Closely involved in the process of concept development were our supervisors, Goof Lukken and Bart Stadhouders, who provided information about zoos in the form of lectures and written material as well. In this period, quite some guest lectures were given by people from the field. Lectures about storytelling by Moniek Hover, an expert in this area, specifically discussing theory and examples from Disney and Efteling. One lecture given by Thomas van Hemert from the Nederlandse Vereniging van Dierentuinen who spoke about trends in the industry and the members of NVD. And lastly, Bart Dohmen of BRC, a theming company, informed us about how experience and stories are created by explaining the processes of the different clients of the company and how to implement it in the project. I think it was very interesting to listen to these professionals from the field talk about their job and share their experience. It has certainly helped us with the project.

DierenPark Amersfoort, located in the centre of the Netherlands, was the commissioner. Astrid Wassenaar introduced us to the park and its values at the beginning of the project, which gave a strong foundation for the concept. On the 6th of January, the outcome of the research and the concept was presented to Astrid Wassenaar, Hylke Steggerda and Erik van Vliet. A small prize was awarded to the group with the most original presentation. Some decided to be slightly more business-like, other groups gave creative presentation. Storytelling was integrated in all, however, which communicated the concepts even better in my opinion. It was nice to see how everyone had unique ideas.

~ Danielle Maas ATPM Y2.

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