Week 7 – ID Practice (PDE4210)

Now I know why there was no theory session, because we went to London Zoo today to rapidly research some design issues identified since the Gorilla’s have taken up residence in their new £5.3 million enclosure. These problems have been highlighted by the ZSL team who look after the exhibit, our brief was to identify and elaborate on the human factors possibly responsible for some abnormal behaviour regarding Bobby, Zaire and Effie, London Zoo’s 3 Western Lowland Gorilla’s.

We met the Head of Mammals who took us on a tour through the new enclosure, we then set about our Rapid Ethnographic research using 3 iterations of video filming from multiple cameras, both semi-subversive and documentary style filming was used together with a fly-on-the-wall mediator who filmed the entire process with a critical eye guiding the researchers throughout the three iterations to use different techniques and to concentrate on the human subjects rather than focussing on the Gorilla’s behaviour.

You can click here for a sample of our filming converted to a Flash movie. This was taken from the other side of the enclosure on full zoom and you can really hear the acoustic channeling, the building is like a big horn with all the noise directed down to the Gorilla’s, can you imagine the noise generated by 18,000 people in one day passing through Gorilla Kingdom, what an incredible oversight.


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