Forest Discovery Center

The focus is on forests at the Discovery Center. Forests provide necessary resources, ecological value and recreation destinations, and there is a need to manage them sustainably. Step inside to discover forestry in the Pacific Northwest and how it relates to forests around the world. The completely re-designed 13,000 square foot museum contains immersive environmental exhibits that reveal the diversity of forests and provide an understanding of their complex care and management issues.

I acted as the lead designer for this project, directing a team exhibit designers and developers. During fabrication I worked with two fabricators; one for exhibits and one specifically for scenic fabrication. We chose this contractual arrangement to assure that the museum would get the highest quality scenic work possible.


As you enter the main gallery the centerpiece of the exhibition is a Pacific Northwest that  can be explored through dozens of exhibits above  and below ground as well as high in the air.


A chair that lifts visitors to the ceiling of The Center enables visitors to discover thanimals living in the tree. The exhibit is operated by an amusement park operator under contract to The Center to make insurance of the exhibit feasible.


Rise up to the very tip of a Douglas fir and look down to view the gallery below. Visitors can ride a chair on a suspension cable to the top of a 60 foot high tree. A second floor bridge was added to the building to help address ADA (The Americans with Disabilities Act).


Take a virtual raft trip down the Clackamas River… without getting wet. A monitor (of frame to right) prompts visitors to rock the raft to create a dramatic photo of themselves which can be purchased at The Center’s ticketing counter.


Try to count the rings on this Redwood “tree cookie.”


Nurse logs make great habitat…and can be a fun place to play! The exhibits in The Center are a mix of experiences intended to appeal to multi-generational groups of visitors.


In a whirlwind tour of the world’s forests, learn about global forest products, services and inhabitants.


See if you have what it takes to be a smoke jumper. Visitors enter a modified parachute harness and steer themselves to a target near a forest fire. The software displays altitude, distance from target and includes a factor for wind.

Client:               World Forestry Center

Location:          Portland, OR

Floor Area:      13,000 sq. ft.

Budget:             $5,000,000

Opening:           2005

Contact:            Mark Reed, Operations Manager