Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2016

Award for Outstanding Achievement - Science/Discovery Garden

Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden - Dallas, TX, USA

This imaginative and interactive garden for children is a museum without walls, designed specifically to address state and national education standards in life, earth and environmental science. Each of its 17 galleries or "learning rooms" has a specific theme, to teach and demonstrate science concepts. Themes include Science and Natural Phenomena, Botany and Agriculture, Nature and the Biosphere, Astronomy and Space, and Energy. Spanning an area of eight acres, with more than 150 interactive exhibits covering a wide spectrum of science, play and imagination, the sheer scale of the project sets it apart.

Storytelling and engagement are highlighted throughout, both through the design of the exhibits and through interaction with live docents and staff. In addition, physical activities like mazes, climbing structures and observation towers and decks are found throughout the site. Throughout, there is a sense of play, whimsy and discovery, with all exhibits directly targeting specific demographic age groups and learning levels.

From an adult designer's point of view, this is an extremely sophisticated and well thought out master plan, offering multiple levels of play, and beautifully designed and fabricated exhibits with a built in sense of discovery and surprise - seamlessly integrated into an elegant park environment with a wide variety of moods, textures, and vistas.

From a child's point of view, it's a simply irresistible banquet of exciting play and discovery, with exciting surprises around every corner.


Award Credits