2022_1 | Strategy Studios

S5. Care for the Rare

Toni Roberts & Chris Mether


Studio Inquiry

Care for the Rare studio explores the practice of interpretation design in the context of botanic gardens. It focuses on environmental communication and design of signage, digital resources and visitor activities. This is a current, real project and there will be opportunities to engage with the gardens.


Focusing on the visitor experience, interpretation design draws together theory and practice of design, education, and psychology. Environmental communication principles will also be investigated.

Communication of knowledge

More information to come!


You will develop a proposal for interpreting the collection of native rare plants of a regional botanic garden. This will involve researching the history, context and aims of the garden as well as the site, existing identity design and current signage.

With a focus on the visitor experience, you will propose design elements such as identity, physical signage, online resources, public tours, children’s activities and sculptural elements that communicate the value of rare native plants.  

We will undertake excursions to Botanic Gardens and other relevant sites, in person (or virtually if needed). Other classes will be conducted online.


Assignment 1 (due week 3):  

Research 3 interpretation projects and prepare short case studies highlighting their strategic intent, strengths, and any shortcomings. You will also consider how they relate to the think:feel:do model of experience. These can include first hand observation or online examples.  


Assignment 2 (various times):  

Short in-class presentations about readings and site research.  


Assignment 3 (due weeks 6 and 11):  

Week 6: In groups of 4, develop a concept proposal for interpretation at one of the 5 regional botanic gardens. Each member of the group will take on a specific design role. These may include identity, signage, online resources, embedded elements, tours and activities. You will need to include a short rationale for your design direction and present this to your client organisation for feedback.


Week 11: Develop these into a complete proposal and present this to your client. Details to come. 


Assignment 4 (due week 12):  

The Studio Knowledge Object distills your knowledge gained through the studio and communicates it to a broader audience.


More information to come!

Studio Partner

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV)

Communities of Practice
Designing Experiences, Designing for Social Change, Designing Identity

About Toni Roberts | About Chris Mether

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