Bow Habitat Station for Carvel Creative

Bow Habitat Station’s discovery centre is an educational haven in Calgary, AB that helps kids learn about Alberta’s land, air, water, and biodiversity. There is a fish hatchery, a theatre, interpretive wetlands for people to explore, and lots of outdoor space that features a trout pond for everyone to enjoy themselves. With multiple galleries and hands-on exhibits, there are many opportunities for learning and growth.

Carvel creative – a public art, fabrication, and design studio here in Calgary – came to us here at Exhibit to help them create a display for the Bow Habitat’s discovery den. If you haven’t seen Carvel’s work, I would highly recommend checking out their website. The job had many different moving parts, was particular and precise, and like most of their work, it was complex and gorgeous. The project included a plethora of window and wall graphics, an intricate and puzzle-esque addition to a touch screen cabinet, installation of an actual tree, hanging vinyl signage, and a prominent human-sized book mounted into the corner. Carvel had designed everything and came to us for help with graphic production and fabrication. First, we used the provided 3D renderings and 2D graphic files to figure out the size and shape of the exhibit. Next, our designer mocked up a small paper model to help decipher how things worked together and from there explained what needed to happen to the print and fabrication departments.

Here are a few details on some of the pieces of the exhibit. 

The Fox Den

This piece was the addition to the touchscreen cabinet mentioned above. Carvel designed it so that the interactive hub would become a 3D fox den. We CNC cut out assorted widths of MDF, covered them in graphics, sanded and painted the edges black. We then installed them into the site, pulling apart the cabinet and applying the graphics before reassembling the existing parts and all the new pieces to create the final structure.

The Entrance Wall

Tyler had a very complicated graphic installation for this project. A continuous graphic went from the primary wall and transferred over a glass doorway and two windows to a rubber floorboard. These are a versatile set of materials that the artwork had to stick to, not to mention the challenge it was to line everything up just right.

The Giant Book

This part of the project was highly collaborative. Carvel had designed the graphics and manufactured the book’s spine that allows people to open, close, and flip the pages back and forth. After receiving graphic files, we fabricated and printed all the pages and mounted them to the inside of the spine. This piece is truly a standout with a large, antique cover and bright, crisp photographs on the inside.

All the pieces came together beautifully, and this dynamic and unique project is up for you to see whenever you’d like at the Bow Habitat Station!

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