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Kieran Stanley was named one of the world’s 50 most important influencers in the zoo & aquarium industry by the blooloop platform. Moreover, the founder, CEO and creative director of dan pearlman experience architecture not only made it into the 50 most important influencers, he is also one of the ten most important people in the industry and is considered ThePower10 Influencer. In our interview, Kieran Stanley talks about the background to the award and takes a look at the future of the zoo & aquarium industry: 

What does the award as ThePower10 Influencer mean to you? 

I am hugely proud to be recognized for my work over the past 25 years. It is a very special task that I have as a Zoo designer, so it is amazing to be recognized amongst CEOs of Zoos and Aquariums, Heads of Conservation, as well as Senior Curators worldwide. I guess it gives me the feeling of playing a small part of a very large and important global team for conservation!

What is the reason for this selection among the top 10? 

There is a saying that it takes 10 years to become famous overnight…I have been keeping my head down and working hard for the last 25 years, so I guess it is bound to come to someone’s attention sometime!… I believe consistency is a very important part of our work, trying to help our clients to be courageous and make the right decisions when it comes to investing in the space and quality for the animals as well as the visitor experience. 

I have also had the opportunity to work on very large international projects with high exposure. We have been pushing the boundaries of what has been done up to date, allowing the visitor to become a part of the animal’s habitat and help them understand the truly amazing work being done in Zoos and Aquariums.

What does the future of zoos look like? Will we still go to the zoo in 2050? 

Definitely! Within an ever increasingly urbanized society and loss of natural wildlife habitats, Zoos and Aquariums will play a key role in its four main tasks: education, conservation, research & science, leisure activities. 

In future each zoo must seek its own unique identity. Zoo design has less to do with design itself, moreover it has a role to play in the understanding and consequent implementation of the strategic development: cooperation (with museums and institutions etc.), diversification (overnight stays, gastronomy etc.), reinvention (virtual zoo, transparent science etc.). 

Zoos will continue to evolve but will always be a critical aspect of society: places where people meet animals face to face and fall in love with wildlife. 

What issues do you want to focus on over the next five years? 

The real future of a zoo will also rely on adopting and living some strong values such as:  

authenticity, transparency, approachability, innovation, communication, integrity, sustainability, and most of all be inspiring.

Zoos and aquariums also have many critics: What arguments do you use to convince them of the importance of modern zoos? 

Their roles in true conservation of species, the protection of endangered natural habitats, as well as educating the public about the work they are doing and what they can do to help will be a critical path whilst arguing their importance.



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