Thamesmead’s Tump 53 Nature Reserve worked with London-based branding agency Alphabetical to launch a multisensory location creation and augmented reality (AR) learning app.
Thamesmead, an area in south-east London, has more than double the amount of green space than the London average. Peabody, who owns around 65% of the land, has sought to increase its engagement with the local community so that residents can make the most of the natural assets.
Peabody approached Alphabetical because he wanted to encourage more people to engage in Tump 53 Nature Reserve and the nearby Water Lily Walk. He also sought to create a sense of pride and ownership among local residents and schoolchildren.
âWe take a holistic approach to improving, developing and maintaining Thamesmead for the long term, and Tump 53 Nature Preserve and the Water Lily Walk are key parts of this. We have partnered with Alphabetical on our ‘Living in the Landscape’ initiative, which aims to engage communities and encourage greater use of our unique green spaces, âsaid Kate Batchelor, Head of Landscape and Conservation. creation of spaces at Peabody.
AlphabÃ©tique created a brand identity for Tump 53 Nature Reserve, as well as as an application of environmental design and digital learning to strengthen the link between green space and residents.
Tommy Taylor, Creative Partner at Alphabetical, says: âThis project is about creating places and creating ways to help people connect with nature. From the start, it made sense to collaborate with locals, especially children.
Workshops created in alphabetical order for young people focused on learning about the local insects and animals of Tump 53 Nature Reserve and Water Lily Walk, including the places they inhabit, the food they eat, the sounds what they do and why they are so important to the ecosystem. âThe kids were the real designers here,â says Taylor. âBy imitating the sounds and movements of local creatures, the project allowed them to appropriate their environment, to become more and more involved over time.
The bold typographic installations embedded in the undergrowth along the edges of Water Lily Walk aim to encourage discovery. The installations reflect the sounds and movements of onomatopoeias. Alphabetical order was recorded by children to describe their understanding of each animal’s behavior.
When parents hover over the typographic sounds, the letters come to life, transforming into playful animated creatures that jump, fly and buzz around the viewer. The character design is accompanied by voice recordings that share information about the species, the threats it faces, and what people can do to help.
âWe really want the kids to study the brightly colored letters and shapes along the catwalk. So when a sign says âBuzzzzz,â for example, we hope they articulate the sound and then ask their parents to use the app on their phone to find out more. We want them to think, âWow! I didn’t know that was what the bees ate, or that was how they saw it, âTaylor says.
The educational app integrates custom AR technology, character design, voice and sound recordings, and animation. A play area of ââthe app aims to add even more fun and make learning and discovery even more relevant.
âThe program was developed to inspire children on their own learning journey. It is a new approach, less didactic. The AR element also encourages parents and children to share the experience and use their devices to learn more about the local flora and fauna, âsays Taylor.
âOur outdoor educational activities in Tump 53 Nature Reserve are part of our Making Space for Nature program, which aims to get people spending time outdoors to learn and enjoy nature. I have seen children make animal noises and movements as they walk down the catwalk, sharing the experience with their friends and family. It created a sense of pride in the area and taught the children valuable lessons about their natural environment, âsaid Jack Gower, Landscape Activation Manager at Peabody.