Design to Experience
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The proposed design for the Amazon Rainforest Education Headquarters is to perform as a working part of the mission to save the forest. The Amazon rainforest is the single greatest carbon sink we have to offset CO2 emissions globally, however factoring in the current rate of deforestation, the Amazon rainforest is capturing 30% less carbon than it was just ten years ago. With carbon emissions continuing to rise exponentially, it is important that what’s left of the Amazon rainforest be protected. The ultimate goal is to design a memorable and retainable education center by utilizing experiential design to create an immersive educational environment that fosters connection to educational material and therefore high information retention. Experiential design in this case is the intentional design of an interior environment to create a specific learning experience for visitors. The design approach the Amazon Rainforest Educational Center takes is a narrative style, processional experience. Story driven learning experiences are almost always memorable because a visitor is able to place themselves inside the story to truly understand what information is being presented. For centuries information has been passed down by means of storytelling, typically stories with a specific message or lessons. To use this age-old approach in interior design, creating an immersive environment is one specific method of experiential design. The design incorporates an immersive education approach to best educate visitors interested in making a significant difference in the longevity of the Amazon Rainforest. The proposed learning spaces are divided into four components; one to represent each Rainforest layer. The experience is designed with a processional flow starting on the forest floor and moving up to the emergent canopy layer. The circulation that flows from space to space is where visitors learn about the Amazon River through interactive exhibits. Each zone will tell its story using the timeline of specific species of plants and animals from that part of the forest. By using a narrative style of presenting information that is easy to form personal connection to, visitors will leave with maximum information retention and a new found appreciation for the Amazon Rainforest.