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Project: Toyota Elephant Passage, Denver Zoo

Description:In June 2012, Denver Zoo opened Toyota Elephant Passage'its most ambitious and innovative project ever undertaken. The 10-acre, $50 million exhibit focuses on the rich history of animals in Asian culture, and today's complicated relationships between people and wildlife in that part of the world.

Over a period of six years, ECOS worked alongside zoo staff and other key consultants, leading all exhibition and interactive media development, cultural research and theming, in-country artifact acquisition, interpretive content creation, wayfinding system and donor recognition design, photography, videography/audio recording, and fabricator management.

Extensive site theming in the exhibit creates three distinct zones of experience to communicate critical messages and showcase the animals: wildlife preserve, family village, and rural outpost. Through interactive media kiosks, visitors can learn about ongoing conservation programs and take direct action to contribute to Asian wildlife welfare.

Awards: 2006 Jurors Award
Society for Environmental Graphic Design,
Master Plan for Asian Tropics (previous name for Toyota Elephant Passage)


ECOS interpretive efforts communicate compelling stories about the challenges faced by animals and people in tropical Asia. Visitors also learn about innovative strategies used to mitigate conflicts; and people of all ages are enabled take action themselves, supporting our field projects while at the exhibit, and staying connected when they return home.
Dr. Rich Reading
Vice President for Conservation Biology


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