Fernbank NatureQuest wins Bronze for Best Museum Environment from Event Design Awards
About the Event Design Awards: The Event Design Awards recognize the best of the best among this industry’s change agents, and the award-winning projects reflect how the world’s best creative studios are reinventing experience design across all categories.
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History needed to upgrade its existing Children’s Discover Rooms, which had been unchanged since the museum first opened 15 years ago. The design team concentrated on an immersive cohesive exhibit design that would provide scalable activities for visitors of all ages in the demographic. NatureQuest is a slightly stylized, though realistic and content-rich environment that presents a microcosm of Georgia’s diverse geographical regions.
The clubhouse boasts multiple levels of activity including the “Burrow” which can only be accessed by crawl tubes, and the Owl tower, which leads to rope bridges that cross over the forest floor. Surrounding the clubhouse are all kinds of diverse environments. In the Gray’s Reef underwater area, kids can pilot a video loggerhead turtle through its underwater habitats and meet other animals that share its world. There is wreckage of a sunken shrimp boat resting precariously on a ledge looking out into the deep ocean. Once can pilot the ship’s wheel and watch ocean animals, from dolphins and parrotfish to scuba divers and blue whales, swim.
Other activities in the undersea area include a “connect four” game using sand dollars and sea stars, a diver bag of found items that include things we shouldn’t find in the sea and live terrapin turtles swimming in a habitat seamlessly integrated with the surrounding reef.