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Case Study/
John Muir

John Muir who was born in Dunbar, on Scotland’s east coast, attained fame on the other side of the Atlantic as one of the founding fathers and most inspirational figures of the environmental movement, responsible for saving the Yosemite Valley and creating the first national park in America.

In 2002, we were commissioned by East Lothian Council to design and produce new interpretation for the John Muir Country Park which lies on the outskirts of Dunbar and encompasses a range of different habitats around the mouth of the River Tyne.

Both we and our clients were keen to try something different to the standard flat, rectangular interpretive panel and produce something which would be original, distinctive, innovative and particularly stimulating for visitors to the park.

The theme of this board was looking for evidence of elusive wildlife and relics from past human activity in the area.

Using a combination of sandblasted and routed timber, plus printed and handpainted graphics enabled us to introduce depth, texture and organic shapes to the boards and to incorporate tactile features which would not have been possible using more traditional manufacturing methods.

The result was a set of 8 panels which interpret the geology, history, landscape and wildlife to be found around the park in a very striking and original way but which nonetheless sit comfortably in the landscape. We also produced some local information boards in similar style.

Geology Panel
This panel featured the geology of the area and incorporated samples of local granite and sandstone to demonstrate the
contrast between the two rock types.

The methods used were not especially vandal resistant and the close proximity of many of the boards to the sea meant that there was an element of risk involved. However, 7 years down the line, none have suffered anything but very minor and easily repairable vandalism and all continue to do the job for which they were intended.