Design & research

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo


Together with project partner Lynn Stechshulte, I led a team of City of San Jose employees through an 8-week design project to bring innovative customer experiences to the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo




8 Weeks


Lynn Stechshulte


Design thinking facilitation

Young explorers set out to try a new prototype in the park.

Young explorers set out to try a new prototype in the park.



The Happy Hollow Park and Zoo has operated in San Jose, CA since the early sixties, but in early 2017, the city knew there were opportunities to better serve modern-day guests. Together with a team of zoo and city hall employees, we set out to not only create innovative park experiences, but also to introduce design thinking methodologies that the team could bring back to both organizations. 



We led our team through a series of workshops, sprints, and analogous experiences to uncover new insights and gain fluency with the design process. We designed and ran sessions on brainstorming, re-framing problems, conducting user-interviews, rapid prototyping, and user testing. After three full design iterations, the team presented their final concept to their peers in d.leadership and later to city management – a game that empowers older children to chart their own journeys through the park: