Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

The Charismatic Megafauna of Design

I recently read a fascinating interview on the National Geographic NewsWatch blog with David Hancocks, the dean of zoo design. I was very interested in what he had to say about the shape of zoos to come — I feel like there has been a revolution within my lifetime, from the depressing concrete cages of the Boston Zoo to the African savannahs of the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro — but more intrigued by his casual use of the term “charismatic megafauna” to describe the elephants, lions, tigers and bears that no zoo thinks it can live without.