The 100th anniversary of Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia called for a project that would shine a light on the zoo’s history of conserva- tion. So the project team devised a bright plan: a glowing parade of massive animal-shaped lanterns staged each night during Vivid Sydney’s annual 23-day festival stretching from May into June.
Each of the 10 lanterns represented an endangered species from Australia and
the Indonesian island of Sumatra that the zoo has committed to protecting,
including an Asian elephant that’s blue, a brightly colored corroboree frog and
a green marine turtle with moving ;ns.
But even though planning began a year in advance for the Vivid Sydney
Taronga Zoo project, a funding delay forced the team to compress the schedule—leaving contractors only weeks to build and install the lanterns, other
lighted displays and related infrastructure, says Natalie Scobie, head project
manager, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia.
“;at put everyone under intense pressure to get the job done. But they ral-
lied,” she says. “Good planning was critical to our success.”
Working with Ample Projects, an Australian design team that specializes
in unique artistic installations, Ms. Scobie’s team in May 2015 developed the
concept and began putting together a project budget and schedule and de;ning
roles and deliverables to meet the requirements of the zoo sta; and the New
South Wales State Tourism Board. But the board didn’t approve the budget
until March 2016.
;at’s when the controlled scramble to execute the project in two months
began—and Ms. Scobie’s team was more than ready, thanks to thorough planning. For instance, the project team had conducted weekly meetings with key
stakeholders from across the zoo to keep everyone abreast of planning and
Once construction and installation began, project planners met biweekly
with internal stakeholders, including contractors, zoological experts, zoo vendors and leadership. ;ose stakeholders gave feedback to help build knowledge
for project decision-making and to identify related risks. No detail—or stakeholder—was too small, given that the project also included smaller lanterns
On the Bright Side
Despite an accelerated timeline, an Australian zoo’s project team delivers a display worth celebrating.
Everyone [was] under intense pressure to get
the job done. But they rallied. Good planning
was critical to our success.”
—Natalie Scobie, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia