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Design For Life Consultancy is a Singapore-based firm specialised the design of zoos, zoo exhibits and other nature related attractions. Its Principal, Michael Graetz has over 20 years experience in zoo design, first with Singapore Zoo and since 2004 with Design For Life.

The Design For Life team also includes a zoologist and another zoo designer and a business manager. Vasantha Nugegoda is a zoologist and habitat specialist while Ahmad Surasa is an architect and experience zoo exhibit designer, and lastly, Ms Punitham Arasu, a qualified accountant handles administration.

Ahmad is also a former member of Singapore Zoo’s in-house design team and was a senior member of a Malaysian architectural practice, developing zoo projects. He also worked in a freelance capacity as a consultant for a mini zoo within the Sunway Lagoon theme park, Kuala Lumpur. In 2007 he collaborated with Michael Graetz to participate in an international design competition for a new Dubai Zoo. Their joint entry claimed first prize.

This team, supported by two design draughtsmen, Design For Life is expanding its range of services. We can take projects from concept and master planning through detailed design and documentation to specialist construction observation.

Additionally, through a network of allied specialists, some of whom are listed on the links page, Design For Life can assemble and lead project teams to provide zoological advice for collection planning, transfer and introduction of animals, environmental enrichment, even transfer of animal management knowledge and skills and the design and implementation of presentations and shows, all coordinated with the design process. Animal management services include the preparing manuals and standard operating procedures. The advantage of this integration of services is that clients are assured that our design proposals are tailored to the capabilities and procedures of the client organisation, whether existing or yet to be established.

Other specialist fields including sound, lighting, marine and aquatic systems, botany and sustainable technologies can be included according to the needs of individual projects.

Since the formation of Design For Life, the firm has undertaken projects in the U.K., the U.A.E., India, Malaysia, Indonesia Hong Kong and Taiwan. Our philosophy is to build on our practical knowledge of zoo operations and management to ensure our projects are functional for the client and yet we aim to innovate, to take ideas and draw inspiration from sources other than zoos.

This, briefly is what Design For Life is. It is about design for ‘life’ in the widest sense: both human life and animal life.

The work experience of Michael Graetz, ASIA, B. Arch, M.Arch, prior to Design For Life encompassed consulting to other zoos while a Director of Singapore Zoo’s parent company, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. A full c.v. can be found here. The following points summarise this experience:

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