Victoria Thomas

BSc (Hons), MA

Interpretation Manager

I have a degree in Product Design Technology and a Masters in Design for Exhibition and Museums. I have worked in a variety of visitor attractions across the UK in roles that focussed on designing environments and exhibits for visitors. I’m interested in the interplay between the little design details and the wider environment and how subtle changes can really make a big difference. I’ve always been conscious of the environmental impact of designers and in 2015 I took the opportunity to use my design skills to support conservation here at Chester Zoo.

Since then I have worked as part of the interpretation team as manager. Together we took on the huge challenge of updating all of the signage across the zoo. We also steer and develop the design of the visitor environments and determine the most effective ways to share our stories with visitors. It’s a really diverse role and we’ve all got strong creativity and problem solving skills. One of our biggest challenges is to make sure the interpretation is accessible to all of our visitors. We’re currently exploring how to make the interpretation more inclusive, whether that’s changing the layout of a panel to provide more sensory experiences.

As part of my work, it’s really important to evaluate the impact of the interpretation and make sure it’s fulfilling its purpose. I work with our Conservation Social Scientist to drive a programme of evaluation. I’m interested in how visitors use a space, which could be at one animal’s habitat or their journey across the whole zoo, and how we can design an environment to help create the best experience for a visitor.

Projects I'm involved in

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