How do you preserve a culture, it’s heritage and it’s stories on an island that has rapidly changed and evolved over the past three decades?
That was the question that I was given, and the task I had ahead of me for my Graduation Project.
Aruba, for all intents and purposes, was an island that thrived on tourism. The more tourists the better the economy. But this like all things, came at a price.
All the accommodations and developments required to maintain a product and service, meant that the island had to cater to a specific target audience and push this more and more. Which as a side effect, resulted in the culture of Aruba being placed on a back burner.
With preservation and education as core components of what the national park of Aruba (Arikok) does, they have been trying through camps, excursions and information days to inform the youth of the beauty of Aruba, and it’s stories. But through this there were still technical limitations and hurdles. One of the most important ones being the fact that the information they had was mostly in old books and documents.
With this in mind, it was time to look at how things could be improved. What other hurdles there were and how all this could result in a well thought of product with a long life span.
Through a process of desk and field research, customer journey, concept sketching, co-creation and user- testing, a product was created that targeted a specific audience (children between 8-12) through activities within the park that created the opportunity to learn stories and in time preserve the culture of Aruba.
This product is currently being developed and is the property of Foundation Parke Nacional Arikok.