Design in the Third Dimension
Most of what we create here at DesignPoint ends up presented on a screen or printed on paper. While we spend a lot of effort creating the illusion of depth and dimension, it is always exciting when we have the opportunity to design something that takes up a bit more space in the physical world.
Our client, ATI Wah Chang, partnered with the cities of Albany and Millersburg, Oregon to convert an old lumber mill and surrounding property into an engineered wetlands system in order to aid with the purification process of their collective waste water — the first cooperative public and private engineering project of its kind in the United States. While ATI Wah Chang’s effluent already exceeds purification standards, the wetlands provides a natural method to lower the temperature of the released water and to further remove nitrates and other pollutants in order to negate any potential impact on the environment. The wetlands has the further benefit of providing a habitat for a variety of local animals, birds, and fish, as well as becoming a destination for the surrounding community.
ATI Wah Chang wanted a compelling interactive display which would educate visitors and employees about the wetlands project. Our role in the project was to develop a display concept depicting only the first phase of the much larger three phase wetlands system, to design the graphic elements, and to coordinate the physical construction with Interpretive Exhibits.
The finished product has a clear acrylic enclosure to protect a scale model of the wetlands project. Surrounding the model enclosure are printed informational panels that describe the process and benefits of the new wetland area. The interactive portion of the display includes buttons that activate lights which simulate water flowing through the system. There will also be a recorded audio presentation to accompany the simulation in the near future.
This project was a fun and educational experience for us as we watched the display grow from concept to completion. It was fascinating to visit Interpretive Exhibits and to learn about their process for building a model and adding the interactive components, which in turn helped us brainstorm interesting ideas that would be feasible in the final display. It is also great to have a finished product that can be experienced with multiple senses, which doesn’t fit into an envelope.
Actual wetlands construction and display progress photos, a bird’s-eye view mockup showing the model topography diagram with graphic panel art, and final photos of the engineered wetlands display...