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The Zoological Paradox

By Thorfun Chutchawanjumrut

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Through on-site field investigation, studies of animal behaviors, and Jon Coe’s zoo enrichment principles, this thesis proposes that zoo architec-ture should prioritize the needs of the animals by incorporating behavioral and environmental enrichments into its design. Enrichments refer to the pro- cess of providing the appropriate behav-ioral and environmental stimuli that foster the animals to exhibit their own natural behaviors. Adapting Jon Coe’s strategies and Heini Hediger’s concept of territory as precedents, “A Zoological Paradox” proposes the reimagining of the zoo typology by integrating existing enrich-ment methodologies, as well as allowing human visitors to interact and engage in the process of enriching the animals’ well-being. Through strategies of introducing choices and novelty to the “Animal Folly” enclosure, and allowing a visitor’s participation, the reimagined zoo offers the animals a sense of freedom within captivity; a temporary relief from stress within their confines. A continuous network of “corridors” replaces conventional enclosures; reflecting each animal’s territorial path-ways and further providing a sense of choice
and freedom.
Shifting the visitor’s role from a mere spectator to an active participant not only enhances his or her experience at the zoo, but also reshapes the percep-tion that these enrichments are what really matter. Rather than a “naturalistic facade,” enrichments become the most crucial component for animals born and raised in captivity.


Katie Carroll

Date 2015
Pages 1-93
Publisher Syracuse University Libraries
Department School of Architecture
Degree Bachelor of Architecture
URL http://surface.syr.edu/architecture_theses/242/
Language English
University Syracuse University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Architecture
  6. Enrichment
  7. Physical environment
  8. stimulation
  9. wildlife
  10. Zoo and captive wild animals
  11. Zoos