It’s hard to believe it’s the last week of June already, but it’s been a very busy week. Since I had a break from appointments to meet with professors at Chiang Mai University on the natural pool project, I decided to focus my attention on the Himmapaan Information Sala layout and takeaways for the guests that will visit it. I also went back to Lisu Lodge for a few days to double check the topography of the land, measurements of the space needed for the Himmapaan nursery and Information Sala with a tool shed. From re-surveying the land, I still believe the best location for the nursery is in the Southwest corner of the rice field where the land is flat, there is shade from nearby trees, and it is close to the stream. The Information Sala and tool shed will be between the Southwest and Southeast corners where the land begins to slope upwards as it is less conducive to growing plants and it is possible to build the structure around this feature.

Also, at this time in the Information Sala at the current site of the nursery there are various panels with information about the Himmapaan restoration project, the seeds of the native plant species, and how the restoration project is helping the carbon cycle in the environment. I have been sketching and designing a layout for the Information Sala that will be at the Lisu Lodge to incorporate all of these panels and seed baskets, but in an inviting layout with more interactive settings for guests.

I have helped design three different layouts from modern and different to traditional. And while the structure of the room can vary or be modified, all the layouts include more hands on interaction with restoration in addition to the information panels. The seed sala within the current Information Sala is a good start. It includes baskets with various types of seeds that visitors can touch and feel alongside cards with the type of seed species on it. It is a good connection between the beginning of the plant life and relating it to how it will become part of a new forest of many tree species.
So, keeping with this idea, I have a few more ideas on how to include hands on interaction. Some of these include displaying bowls with the various soils needed for native plants to grow as well as those to produce rice. Soil is a large component to successful growing, and the compositions can be very different.

Additionally, there could be bowls of rice (as there are three different types of rice grown in Northern Thailand) and the names of the rice could be hidden under a cover. Guests could guess as to which type of rice they are looking at and then lift the cover to see if they are correct. They may think they would know the types of rice as common sense, but from experience, I know it is more complex than I originally thought. These are just a few of the ideas I have for the Information Sala, but stay tuned for more to come as I make more progress with the layout!