a theatrical installation for our national bird

Het grote grutto theater / an exhibition and installation design for Natuurmuseum Fryslân

het grote grutto theater

het grote grutto theater

Het grote grutto theater (’The Grand Godwit Theater') is a theatrical exhibition experience for kids that tells the characteristic story of the Dutch national bird: The Godwit.

The installation was directed by Theun Mosk. The concept and spatial design was developed in collaboration with studio johan nijhoff.

We focused on arousing the senses; the little visitors can see like a bird, hear like a bird, feel danger like a bird, experience freedom, be attentive to possible enemies – they can even fly. Roaming around the space in a small group, kids and their parents step out of the exhibition having learned lots of new details about the life of Godwit. They understand what it’s like to be a godwit. 

The aim of the floorplan is to experience ten different characteristics of the bird within a timeframe of 30 minutes. With various layers of communication, the exhibition speaks (quite literally) to both parent and child. The monocultural look of the playground refers to the decrease of natural diversity in the Godwit’s environment, in contrary to the interiors of the ten very colourful and lively experience rooms.

Johan created a witty hand-drawn Godwit creature with many faces. This Godwit became the leading image for the visual identity of the exhibition and its campaign; the system of discovery, educational digital and board games, children's book, website and off and online promotion campaign.  


type  Exhibition/Installation/Graphic Design

client  Natuurmuseum Fryslân

location  Leeuwarden, the Netherlands

with  Theun Mosk

realisation  Siemen van de Werf,

Simon van der Geest, Dennis Slot,

Floortje Halters, Sytze Pruiksma, 

Martijn Nieuwenburg, Eva Koopmans

and Studio Apvis

photography  Pieter Kers

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