Award-winning exhibit design firm D. Jensen; Associates joined forces with 3DS to create a stunning visitor experience. Located in the Yukon Territory, Kluane National Park is Canada’s newest National park. The Centre’s aim was to give visitors a better understanding of the park’s vast and varied flora, fauna, geography and human history.
The Kluane Centre is a step above anything ever done in a Canadian national park. “Do Not Touch” was thrown out and a “Hands-On/Brains-On” approach was taken. Visitors can explore the park through static displays, A/V interactives and games. Much of the exhibitry involves high-tech interactive touch screens and information systems. A large interactive topographic model of the park features an array of iPads, allowing a visitor to pinpoint areas on the model for location-specific information. All the Centre’s exhibits are designed to be robust yet require minimal maintenance.
The Centre provides innovative tactile experiences; nothing is in glass cases – everything is hands-on. In “The Skulls Game”, kids can pull drawers open and pick up and examine actual skulls to guess which animals they belonged to. They are invited to feel fur, feathers and bones for a greater understanding of the wildlife, through their own natural curiosity. In one perhaps less “hands-on” exhibit, kids are challenged to identify the scat of indigenous animals. These educational exhibits have proven to be engaging for all age groups, including those initially designed for kids.
At the opening ceremony, a senior Parks Canada Official voiced: “I’d wondered if visitors’ centres were a good use of resources for Parks Canada. Then I saw this place and realized we had just been doing it wrong. This is, by far, the best centre we have.”