THE WILD ESCAPE

The effects of biodiversity loss are increasingly impacting our planet. In raising awareness of this crisis, the Art Fund saw an opportunity to invite and inspire hundreds of thousands of children to visit museums and respond creatively to the environmental challenge.

The Wild Escape is a major new project bringing hundreds of museums and schools together in a celebration of UK wildlife and creativity. Launching on Earth Day 2023, children are invited to explore and discover nature in museum collections, bringing their chosen creature to life with their own creativity and following their escape to a thriving ecosystem.

At the heart of the programme is a collaborative artwork and ever-expanding digital world created by PRELOADED, empowering children to creatively express their imagination and visualising the power of collective, positive action.

The Wild Escape is a real demonstration of the power of our museums to work together for the benefit of their communities.”

Jenny Waldman, Art Fund Director
The Wild Escape - Header Image

INDIVIDUAL CREATIVITY, COLLECTIVE IMPACT

The goal of the digital artwork is to demonstrate and visualise the collective impact of individual creativity. From the outset, PRELOADED’s ambition was to create a digital experience that gives children full creative control and allows them to express themselves in any form or medium they wish. 

Putting the child’s creativity front and centre, PRELOADED designed an art tool that allows children to capture and digitise their created creatures, breathe life into them and release them from institutions across the UK into a digital biodiverse ecosystem to wander alongside the creations made by other children.

Once released, children can search and find their individual drawings and explore how they wander through diverse habitats and have whimsical encounters with other creatures. This open and imaginary ecosystem grows with every contribution made, so children can witness the collective impact of their artistic work on a living and expanding canvas.

PRELOADED designed an art tool that allows children to capture and digitise their created creatures, breathe life into them and release them from institutions across the UK

BUILDING THE WILD WORLD

PRELOADED wanted to push beyond the traditional UI-heavy approach and leverage immersive and game methods to build a living and breathing space where the creatures co-exist. 

The Wild World is designed using a layered landscape approach that creates a foreshortening and parallax effect for visual depth. Overlapping habitats are building and blending as users explore the world, demonstrating the interconnectedness of a thriving ecosystem with each habitat having its own style and palette. This procedurally generated patchwork art style and design celebrates the virtual and ‘blocky’ worlds that 7-11 year olds are familiar with. 

As viewers watch the display pan across the landscape, the experience is also accompanied by a sonic soundscape derived from the various habitat types, creating a mindful and meditative experience. 

The patchwork art style was designed to celebrate and compliment the 7-11 year olds artworks

A CO-CREATION PROCESS

The ambition of the project was to be transformational in its reach and to build long-lasting networks between schools and museums, visitors and museums, and citizens and their local communities. 

To meet these transformational goals, PRELOADED ran a process that allowed us to co-create with the audience throughout development. Regular user testing at schools and museums helped to simplify the flow of the user journey and identify any barriers to access as children moved from their physical environment to the digital world. 

The scale of the project also required us to rethink the role of technology in museums, moving away from tailored on-site experiences, to digital tools that were inclusive of all museum locations and audiences. Collaborating closely with multiple stakeholders and partners, PRELOADED was able to design a simple and accessible experience and safe workflows that naturally extended the activities of the wider campaign and programme. 

The Wild Escape will be live from 22 April 2023 until the end of summer. If you want to learn how to get involved, please visit the Wild Escape website for more information on participating museums and supporting teacher resources. 

PRELOADED was able to design a simple and accessible experience and safe workflows that naturally extended the activities of the wider campaign and programme

The team at PRELOADED have been wonderful collaborators. With so many exceptional digital projects being created by the museum & gallery sector, we’re grateful to PRELOADED for their ambition and dedication to work with us on a project that is available to a large number of organisations operating in different ways, scales and capacities and the public.”

Jo Paton Htay , Project Director, The Wild Escape for Art Fund