Kidscape - Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center

Exhibit Design + Planning

When Johnson County, Kansas, decided to rehabilitate a vacant 1960’s era ice skating rink and bowling alley building and turn it into a contemporary arts and heritage center, they faced significant community opposition — the proposed renovation was considered a long and costly endeavor for a building long past its time. However, the beautiful new Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, opened in the summer of 2017, has since swayed critics and is quickly becoming a modern keystone in the cultural community. DI worked closely with SFS Architects of Kansas City to design and build a 3,000-square-foot interactive children’s experience within the Center, called Kidscape.

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Conceptual Ideas from DI Kids

90%

Of Early-Learning Standards are Encouraged

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Anatomy Parts to Discover in the Hospital

KidScape is a fun, whimsical, and educational space “where play meets the past” for kids 8 and under. It is an adventure through time that mirrors the storyline of the main museum at a child-level comprehension, encouraging young visitors to build a sense of place and learn about the county’s past. Young visitors get to explore three unique communities: an 1870s farmstead, the city in the early 1900s, and a 1950s suburb. The exhibit is highly hands-on, with props, costumes, and custom interactives such as a chicken egg-rolling game at the farm, an operation table and baby bassinets at the hospital, a classic diner where you can serve and eat the food grown on the farm, and a “functioning” color-coded post office that allows kids to deliver mail to each of the other addresses in the space. The city jail even comes complete with an escape route to the caves beyond. DI provided ground-up concept design, exhibit design and planning, and fabrication.