Why did I refuse to guide a signage design project for a zoo?

The answer is simple because animals are not interested in seeing us,
we are. 

Imagine someone always staring at you, as you go about your daily business, whether you are having your food, or taking a bath or simply relaxing. It’s a complete invasion of your privacy, right? Animals in the sanctuaries are subjected to such scrutiny all the time, the conditions are worse in a zoo. We as humans are most curious about how animals live their lives, but do animals want our interference? What if this human interference could be kept to a minimum?

Once a student came to me for a way showing project for the zoo. I flatly refused. The idea of a zoo does not make sense to me. It is so human-centred. Student asked, by this logic, one cannot do signage for the zoo?

I said, one can do it, but the point of view should be changed. Cage yourselves, not them. We are interested in seeing them, they are not. 
Imagine it as an underground system with openings at specific locations. These locations are the spots where animals are most likely to be seen as they roam around. Such an underground system may require digital signage to locate the presence of animals. I am not discussing the details of implementation but understand the approach. Changing the point of view to see the problem, can change the way you frame the problem.  


Build empathy.
Hide from animals.
Do not invade their space.
Illustrations: Vajra Pancharia - Alumnus IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay