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Interior architecture and product design students develop biodiversity exhibition proposals for Flint Hills Discovery Center

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013

       

 

MANHATTAN -- Third-year interior architecture and product design students at Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning & Design have put their design skills on exhibition.

The students have worked for the last five weeks with Manhattan's Flint Hills Discovery Center to define "Biodiversity in the Flint Hills," turning their research into interactive exhibition design proposals to interest children ages 7-12.

The project was led by David Richter-O'Connell, assistant professor of interior architecture and product design.

Starting with a general definition of biodiversity as the range of flora and fauna found living in an environment or ecosystem, as well as the factors and forces such as weather, climate change, human populations and land use that affect the biodiverse ecosystem, the students further explored the topic from the standpoint of area families, ranchers and soldiers to develop exhibition designs that include information, artifacts, multimedia presentations and interactive activities.

Their exhibition designs will be on display at a town hall-style reception from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Flint Hills Discovery Center's atrium. The reception is free and the public is invited. Visitors who would like to explore the center after dropping by the reception will need to pay the admission fee.

To develop their designs, the students also interviewed and worked with a variety of area community members, including:

* Flint Hills Discovery Center staff members Fred Goss, director; Roy Garrett, exhibits/operations manager; and Jared Bixby, curator of education.

* Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art guest lecturer David Russik, an exhibition designer at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

* Fort Riley staff and eco-management professionals Erik Zenk, Steven Wahle and Christopher Otto.

* Interior architecture and product design department faculty members Vibhavari Jani, associate professor; Steve Davidson, assistant professor; and Dustin Headley, assistant professors.

* Landscape architect professor and researcher Timothy Keane of the university's landscape architecture/regional and community planning department.

* Konza Prairie Biological Research Station personnel.

* And many other local groups and resources.

At a glance

Exhibition design proposals created by Kansas State University interior architecture and product design students for Manhattan's Flint Hills Discovery Center will be on display at a town hall-style reception from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the center.