An animal-as-client (AAC) theory for zoo exhibit design
The design of zoo exhibits has traditionally focused on the needs of humans. More recently, the needs of animals displayed in zoo exhibits have become a focus. However, there is no theory that describes how designers might consider animal needs, and how these needs might be interpreted in the design process.
An animal-as-client (AAC) theory for zoo exhibit design is introduced. The theory sees animal culture as the starting point and focus for the design process, emphasizing the need for animal participation and collaboration. The manipulation of space, time and environmental quality are viewed as critical explorations, while the ultimate suitability of the exhibit is considered in terms of the behavioural aspects of animal welfare. The refinement of the theory is viewed as an ongoing process intended to establish an inter-specific cultural contract adaptive for both humans and animals.