The Forest is an innovative project that engages young children and their families with research in environmental resilience. This interactive engagement space features specialist activities, scenography and an immersive 360 soundscape of forest noises from different areas to virtually ‘transport’ visitors across the world.
A collaboration between the University’s Drama department and the University’s Energy and Environment Institute, The Forest provides a quiet, reflective space for families to create, read and discuss environmental issues
The Forest is integrated into the Energy and Environment Institute’s Earth Arcade project which engages the public with the institute’s research by creating exciting and innovative themed spaces. Though the Earth Arcade is typically high energy, The Forest is deliberately quiet, built on principles of mindfulness and child-led engagement developed through theatrical dramaturgy, scenography and storytelling.
The space was premiered in full at the 2019 Hull Freedom Festival following Research and Development sessions at Earth Arcade events during 2018.
Designed and led by Dr Amy Skinner and Dr Cat Fergusson Baugh, The Forest includes storytelling and activity facilitation by undergraduate and postgraduate students from Drama and the Energy and Environment Institute. Initial reflections on The Forest, collaborations between drama specialists and environmental scientists, and the use of scenography principles in Science Communication were presented at the 2020 General Assembly of the European Geoscience Union.