Discover is the UK’s first Story Centre for children aged 0-11 and their families. In 2016 I worked with the Discover Team to help re-design the Story World, the creative play spaces designed to inspire children’s curiosity and imagination.
Theses two concepts were designs as you enter the woodland, a sparkling river leads the children downstream, with little woodland hideaways and rockeries for the children to climb into.
The Castle was a design on an existing puppetry prop that had been at Discover for a while and they wanted to incorporate into a larger feature for the Story World. The brief was for a Bavarian inspired design with two towers. You can see the concept drawing and the result below.
The river through the magical forest then leads to a beach. There are large windows that lead to the Discover Garden so this area would be flooded in light so we felt a nice sunny beach would be a lovely place for the children to play. I worked up a tropical beach concept which featured this little steam punk boat that the children could play in. We worked on ideas for activities that could feature on the wall, such as the wooden-spoon migrating birds which are stuck on the feature wall with a painted sunset backdrop.
Hootah is the Discover character mascot since it opened over 10 years ago. The Discover team asked if I would re-design Hootah so he'd fit in better in the 'Steam Punk' inspired Story World. He was stripped right back to his basic structure and I worked up a simple design that felt more modern and in-keeping with the colours and features of the Story World. You can see the finished Hootah at the entrance of Discover.
We discussed creating some 'Hootah' birds (Hootah is the mascot character of Discover). So I sketched up some 'steam punk' inspired mechanical birds. These were beautifully built and are scattered around the whole of the Story World.
THE HOVERING OBSERVATRON
The First Floor brief of the Story World was to create features in the clouds. The team wanted a central structure 'Observatory' that would be big enough for a class of children with activities on the outside and inside. I worked up a Miyazaki inspired flying machine I called 'The Hovering Observatron' with portholes, telescope, propellors and activities, clad in a mix of coloured metals.