Cherokee Historical Association - Cherokee Nation

Create a multidisciplinary empathetic solution through
contextual research while defining social design.

The Cherokee people have persevered through triumph and tragedy—an incredible story of betrayal, survival and reestablishment. Our team was asked to help carry on this legacy by creating designs that further the Cherokee Historical Association’s mission to “perpetuate and preserve the history and culture of the Cherokee People.” Investigation and development of an authentic VIP experience.  

Service, Architecture, Creative Direction, Design Research


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Overview

BRIEF

Develop a visual language that creates consistency for the brand and culture, to innovate VIP service experiences and advance the architecture to include box seating and positive environmental experiences at cultural attractions including the Oconaluftee Indian Village living history site and the outdoor theater housing the drama Unto these Hills. 

APPROACH

Do not reinvent but enhance the cultural preservation of the Cherokee people through an experience.

Insert service design and architecture into cultural experience with the Historical Associations existing properties; the living history exhibit, narrative theatre and history museum. to collect our primary research through observational and participatory methods of data collection. 

OUTCOME

The diversity of the team allowed for a human-centric approach which brought an aesthetic abundance to existing materials and cast a vision for redevelopment and additional values.

One immediate outlier, their three properties operated autonomously. While it was not the client ask, we proposed the three organizations initiate a communication network to link the three brands and develop a strong singular voice.

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Problem:

Marketing and communication materials were out of date. The VIP experience currently consists of charging a small fee to the ticket price and the staff would provide a reusable bag with a water bottle, plastic drink tumbler with a coupon for free drink. There was no exceptional experience for the attendees to get a sense they are getting a return on the upgraded ticket package.

Solution:

Identified architectural and service components that enhance the VIP experience. From offering a special entrance, a broad offering of branded materials including a season limited souvenir booklet, sky box seating and wait services during the show. The solution also included combining the three groups; Oconaluftee Indian Village, Unto these Hills amphitheater, and the history museum into one brand.  

Design Objective:

Meet the needs of the Cherokee Heritage Association, Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee people while conveying a lossless opportunity 

Our tasks—to develop a visual language that created consistency for the brand and culture, to innovate VIP service experiences and advance the architecture to include box seating and positive environmental experiences at cultural attractions including the Oconaluftee Indian Village living history site and the outdoor theater housing the drama Unto these Hills. The diversity of the team allowed for a human-centric approach which brought an aesthetic abundance to existing materials and cast a vision for redevelopment and additional values. 

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VIP Experience Proposal:

Unto these Hills – A Night at the Theatre

Enhanced Signage
Make navigating the venue easy so VIPs can focus on their experience. 

Sign placements with clear, concise and brand consistent message will reduce confusion.

Good Timing
VIPs will be escorted through the journey in all three venues but for UTH they will be shown to their seats and provided the souvenir materials and will be served the complimentary beverage in the reserved seating sky box. 

The beverage will be served in a reusable container that can be refilled at the other two attractions for a discount.

Shareable Culture
Interactions with the Eagles Dancer, actors and Cherokee standups, will create sharable moments at all three of the venues. Cherokee staff will be equipped to take and post the images on the VIPs favorite social media platform tagging the individuals in the post.

The photos will be provided for download with UTH branded watermark and metadata embedded.

 

Oconaluftee Indian Village – A Day in the Village

Enhanced Wayfinding
To ensure a positive consumer experience, we recommend a combination of concise standing signs, greeters, and effigies that wil l providedirection upon their initial interaction with this facility.

Clan Stickers
Each ticket holder will be designated to a clan throughout the visit. The goal of clan stickers is to create an immersive cultural experience with the Cherokee.

 Pre-Tour Engagement
Develop and display a visual and sensorial asset to stimulate educational moments.

 Contextual Immersion & Educational
At the craft stations, there is an opportunity to create a more enhanced interaction by also having the crafters discuss what they are doing in addition to the guides.

 

Storytelling & Action
At the dance attraction, guides will be engaging the audience of each clan to be before the dance. The opportunity here is to be a storyteller and to be emphasizing the moments of the show.

 

Sharing Moments
At the concession area, standing signs would be indicating the wayfinding, offering special meals and suggesting a more immersive environment. The opportunity here is to make people enjoy the experience after the tour.

Signage and Marketing
The signage and marketing material audit showed lost opportunities for a positive consumer experience and exposing a need for consistency in message, mapping and presentation.


Marketing Materials:

Unto Theses Hills - Playbill - Limited Production Run

Unto Theses Hills - Playbill - Limited Production Run

Complete publication retelling the Cherokee Nation story.

Complete publication retelling the Cherokee Nation story.

Customized Tickets Developed for each Venue

Customized Tickets Developed for each Venue


Architectural – Proposed VIP box and section:

 

VIP Journey Map and Full Service Experience

VIP Journey Map and Full Service Experience

VIP Box Seating Section

VIP Box Seating Section

Mockup of the VIP Box Seating Section

Mockup of the VIP Box Seating Section

Proposed Exit Opportunities - Gift Shop, Concessions and Beer Garden

Proposed Exit Opportunities - Gift Shop, Concessions and Beer Garden


Total Solar Eclipse 2017

When an eclipse happened during the times of the ancient Cherokees, they believed a giant frog that lived in the sky had swallowed the sun (or moon, if it was a lunar eclipse), causing darkness to occur during the daytime. The Cherokees and other tribes would gather and fire guns, beat drums, and generally make noise so as to frighten the great frog away, making the sun shine brightly again.

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