Cane Toad Exhibition

I created this exhibit model for a course on exhibit design. I was tasked with developing a to-scale model that discussed a unique animal species assigned to me: the cane toad.

I began by researching and learning about the cane toad.

Findings and References

The most important points I wanted to include in the exhibit were the toad’s size and anatomy, unsettling features, natural bufotoxin, invasivity, and the 

urban legends related to toad licking as a psychoactive drug source.

The toad’s eggs are produced in a long, clear, noodle-like sac. Their toxin is produced in the parotoid gland on the back of their necks. This toxin has been researched as a cancer treatment and as a natural hair growth inhibitor. 


Based on these findings, I began to design the exhibits.

Visual Ideation

My visual ideation process started with sketches based on my research process. It also included quick model building, scale referencing, and a plan view of how people would move through the space.  

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Full Size Sketch

In this group critique, my classmates and I are taking a look at my first full-size sketch with spaces identified and planned.


My priorities are determining the shape, number, and size of the displays as well as how visitors will move through the overall space.

3D Sketch Model

I then developed a full size, 3D model out of cardboard, paper and glue. 


Here, I am beginning to determine the look of the models based on my initial sketches. I am also using scale model figures to help determine the appropriate size of the displays. 

Final Model Process

Finally, I built my final model, selecting papers, boards, lasercut acrylic panels and model plants to flesh out the look of the exhibit. 


This was a trial and error process, testing different material samples to see what looked best. 

Final Model and Planned

Exhibit Spaces

This is my final model, labeled with each exhibit's topic of focus. After entering, visitors would move through the "Life Cycle" exhibit before entering the main gallery featuring a "Live Exhibit," "Invasivity" map, an "Anatomy" exhibit, and a "News and Toad Dangers" wall. They would then move through the "Bufotoxin Research" area and then into the "Entheogenic" hallway before exiting. 

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Invasivity and Entheogenic Use


Inspired by entheogenic uses of the toad, this (safe) hallucinatory, fog-filled walkway materializes the spiritual and recreational uses of “toad-licking.”


This space explores the dangerous toads moving into the southern US.


Invasivity and Live Habitat


Accompanied by a large floor map, this unique

space visualizes the magnitude of toad invasivity.


Here, a live exhibit allows the audience to view toads up

close. The habitat would be encased in glass or acrylic.

Thank you for viewing.