Como Park Zoo and Conservancy Fall Semester 2018

In the Fall semester of 2018 I taught a beginning design class Dunwoody College of Technology. We worked on the fundamentals of architectural design. The concentration was on a new Red Panda exhibit for Como Park Zoo and Conservancy in St. Paul, Minnesota. Here are some of the models and boards that the students came up with. The concepts were based on an experience that they had at a zoo, in nature or an idea resulting from their research on the Red Panda.

More information on the studio can be found at this Dunwoody link:

https://dunwoody.edu/news/2019/students-collaborate-with-como-park-on-studio-project/

One of my students, Amanda Allen did an excellent job. As a group we visited Como Zoo and Conservancy and drew patterns that we found on plants, trees and paving. This reminded Amanda of her childhood in Guam where she played and hid in a Banyan tree. Then she came up with three words that best described her feelings about the tree and her childhood. . . Roots, Hidden and Sacred. From this she sketched “dumb diagrams” that represented her concept and that she could refer to as she continued to design.

Then she was asked to quickly make some models and in her case they represented the roots of the Banyan tree. She used pipe cleaners for her first models and ripped paper for her later model.

It was important for Amanda to design a place at the Como Zoo where you could view the Red Pandas but also hide in a space away from the crowds. At Como Zoo it is very difficult to find privacy, turn off technology and tune into nature. Many people come Como to be with the animals and away from the urban noises and distractions. She achieved this by using the Banyan tree for inspiration for her design and that concept carried over very well to her final boards. As you can see there are break out spaces for people to view the Red Panda exhibit in her final renderings.

More models from the Como Semester

Final Boards by student Helena Perez
Final Boards by Student Tanner Konen

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