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Title: A ZOO - FOR WHOM?
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Raffaella Sini
2012/2013 Aki DT
Issue Date: 19-Sep-2014
Citation: LIM YANXIN CRISTAL (2014-09-19). A ZOO - FOR WHOM?. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Men have differentiated themselves from other animals that walk on planet earth. With the ability to think, judge and invent, men has managed to progress farther than any of its animal counterparts. Slowly encroaching upon new territories, animals without ability to resist lose rights to the spaces they occupy. Animals are taken from their natural environment and forced to live amongst men, tending to their needs and desires. Menageries and Zoological Gardens are spaces created by men to keep wild animals captive and within reach at convenience. With an ever-changing society, our perceptions and treatment of animals differ. Thus, looking at the historical development of Zoos is important to understand how zoo design has developed along with mankind changing attitude towards animals. From the ancient times till now, different strategies have been implored to house the captive. ‘Breakfast with the Monkeys’, ‘swimming with the polar bears’, ‘lions live feeding shows’ are some of the strategies implemented to attract visitors to zoos today. Design settings to house the animals may have gone through a great deal of changes, however, their main objective has always been to serve as entertainment to men. Do these strategies help tell a story and heighten our awareness about the animals or do they simply satisfy the audiences’ desire to be entertained? The invention of the safety glass has enabled us to experience the thrill of being in close proximity with fearsome animals. However, the animal placed in this situation may be in a state of great confusion. Indeed strategies are evolving, but it seems to appease only the needs of people, not the animals. To what extent can zoo designs be ‘stretched’ to ensure a win-win situation for animal and man? The increasing emphasis on animal rights over the years has resulted in the establishment of various animal associations. With hope of giving a voice to the animals, these organizations help defend animals against any form of abuse, ensuring that minimum space requirements and healthy treatment of captive animals are met. However, extent of help provided by these organisations is small. For example the Singapore zoo, which is invested by Temasek holdings, needs to ensure that its intended profits are met.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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