Introduction: open-air displays

From creating compelling plaques to art outdoors, find out why interpretation is as important for open-air displays as it is for indoor ones

Why have open-air displays?

Visitors have different expectations of outdoor sites compared with indoor spaces. Penny Ritchie Calder explains how to respond to the landscape

Interpreting open-air displays

Working out what is genuinely interesting, and saying more with less is the key to successful interpretation of a natural site

Art without walls

There are many ways of successfully incorporating artistic interventions in the open air, beyond sculpture parks and outdoor exhibitions

Interpreting historic sites

Choosing techniques and tools to interpret a historic site depends on what remains at the site, and how much is known about what happened there

New approaches to heritage plaques

Heritage plaques can seem dry and dated, but new technologies and themed trails mean they can still be one of the best forms of urban interpretation

Outdoor events

Organised events are often designed to entertain and raise funds. But they are also an opportunity to extend interpretation and attract new visitors

Case study: open-air displays and children

Oxford Botanic Garden's Waste-Free Lunch Challenge teaches schoolchildren how to recycle their packed lunches and cut down on rubbish, as Emma Williams explains

Case study: interpreting an ancient battlefield

Modern landmarks on Kalkriese Museum and Park - an ancient battlefield in Germany - allow visitors to imagine a Roman army's last stand