U of M Team Competes in Walt Disney ImagiNations Competition

ImagiNations_CoresBrasileires.JPGThe 2013 ImagiNations Competition finalist team from the University with their project "Cores Brasileiras." (Left to Right)  Isaiah Bergstrom, Made Arya Adiartha, Lucas Kaeding, James Cosper. © Disney. Photographer: Gary Krueger.


ImagINations 2013 finalist release FINAL (1).jpgDisney Opens Doors For
Theme Park Designers of Tomorrow


Six college teams travel to Imagineering in Glendale, CA, to participate as finalists in ImagiNations Design Competition January 28-February 1, 2013

Walt Disney Imagineering has selected the top six finalist teams of its 22nd ImagiNations competition. ImagiNations is a design competition created and sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering to promote diversity and enable participants to showcase their talents and gain practical knowledge in design. At the same time, it allows Imagineers to look for the next generation of creative and innovative thinkers for potential recruitment.

This year's six teams of finalists represent Art Center College of Design, California State University Long Beach, Carnegie Mellon University, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

The finalist teams are awarded five-day all-expenses-paid trips to Imagineering's headquarters in Glendale, Calif., from January 28 - February 1, where they will present their projects to Imagineering executives, meet and network with technical and creative Imagineers, go behind the scenes where Disney magic is created, and interview for paid internships, culminating in an awards ceremony on February 1.

Read the full press release here. The team of finalists from the U of M includes:

College of Design:

  • Made Arya Adiartha: Made holds a bachelors degree in Architectural Engineering from his home country of Indonesia. He is currently in his final year of the M.S. in Sustainable Design Program. In 2011, Arya was selected as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. During the summer of 2009 he interned at Bina Cipta, an architecture firm in Bali. After graduating in 2010, he started work at Mohome Property, another local architecture firm, and helped design a beach resort in Bali and co-supervised the construction. Aside from his passion in architecture and design, he has served as the master of ceremony for several international seminars and coordinated several workshops with universities from Malaysia and the U.S. Arya's personal interests include product design, graphic design, fantasy art and video games. He hopes to follow a career where he can develop and showcase his wide variety of interests and passion for drawing.
  • James Cosper: James is an Interactive Design M.F.A. graduate student. He has a B.A. in English and Studio Art and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. He is focusing on game and product design. James is particularly interested in merging traditional hand-made art aesthetics with digital and product designs for creations with humanist qualities. James was part of a product design team featured on the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet toys episode. That design was later commissioned by The Works, a Twin Cities engineering museum, for development by the team into an interactive children's museum exhibit.
College of Science and Engineering:

  • Lucas Kaeding: With nothing but a dream and a bright white Disney World baseball cap, Lucas Kaeding carefully crafted his collegiate plan to become a Disney Imagineer. As a sophomore, He set out to enhance the quality of entertainment at the University of Minnesota by founding Imagine: Engineering Entertainment. As a junior, Lucas led his team's 2012 Disney ImagiNations project to the competition's semi-finals. His focus was on researching a new 3D projection technology and hemispherical control base that immersed guests in their Phineas and Ferb based adventure through the seasons. This past summer, Lucas worked as a physical design intern at the Intel Corporation in the Silicon Valley. He dissected digital circuits to understand their functionality, found an optimal combination of array fuse settings, and even modified cells to be implemented on the next generation of Xeon microprocessor. Now in his senior year, his collegiate plans are rapidly approaching their end. He expects to graduate in May 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. While his Disney World baseball cap has begun to fade, Lucas' dream of becoming an Imagineer lives on and shines bright.
  • Isaiah Bergstrom: As a student of mechanical engineering, Isaiah pursued a wide array of skills and challenges in an effort to equip himself with the tools necessary to be a versatile problem solver. On the technical side, he completed an internship with Harlan Global Manufacturing, where he contributed to the design of components for airport tractors, including wire harnesses, electrical schematics and a vehicle control program. Additionally, Isaiah is currently working a co-op with Hamon Deltac Inc, a local firm in the heat recovery steam generation industry. To balance the technical with the interpersonal, Isaiah took on a management minor and worked on campus as a community advisor for two years. He has received several scholarships including the Res-Life Award (nominated by his co-workers) and the Outstanding Student Employee Award (nominated by his supervisor). He looks forward to applying his entire skill set to solving new and challenging problems in innovative design, robotics and controls. Isaiah feels he is at his best when working in a team filling the gaps that no one else is willing or able to fill.
For this year's ImagiNations design competition, students from American universities and colleges were given a unique challenge: "You could say that today Disney is everywhere, from our Disney parks to Disney Cruise Line® and Adventures by Disney® trips, Disney offers family entertainment all around the world. However, there are still some places that Disney has not gotten to yet. Pick one city anywhere in the world and design an entertainment / recreational experience for its citizens and tourists. Start with a compelling story, make it a Disney experience, include the elements of your design, and include the reasons behind your city selection."

The judges apply the same criteria to the entries as they would to their own work - beginning with the team's ability to collaborate across different disciplines and backgrounds; the mastery of their individual skills; whether it provides an engaging guest experience; a good understanding of the local and tourist market in the chosen location, the ability to tell a compelling and engaging story, knowledge and passion for the Disney brand and Walt Disney Imagineering and that it is unique in that it is not limited to what guests already experience at Disney parks and resorts.

A position at Walt Disney Imagineering is often found on surveys of "dream occupations," and the company uses ImagiNations as a way to reach out to the widest possible talent pool for its future. The top three placed teams will be awarded cash prizes with the first place team receiving $3,000. An additional $1,000 grant will be awarded to the first place team, to be equally divided among its sponsoring universities and/or organizations.

The concepts presented by the finalists cover a wide range of concepts and topics, including:

  • Cores Brasileiras at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (UM Twin Cities): A multimedia attraction designed to celebrate the beauty of Brazil. It combines the city's enthusiastic culture with the love of established Disney characters.
  • Disney's Holmby Martin Railway (Cal State Long Beach): An attraction that immerses people in the golden era of train travel and the experience of Disney. Traveling from Chicago to California, guests will travel back in time through the early 1900s.
  • Disney's Ukaipo Resort at Auckland, New Zealand (Art Center College of Design): An iconic resort modeled after a Kauri, one of New Zealand's most ancient and magnificent trees. Guests will experience Auckland from high up in trees, enjoying breathtaking views of the land while relaxing in this all-inclusive vacation experience.
  • Legenda Emas at Jakarta, Indonesia (Carnegie Mellon/ Art Center College of Design): An interactive boat ride that follows a betrothed prince and princess, and a jealous witch who wishes to keep them apart. The ride creates an immersive experience by placing guests into the story as volunteers of the royal search party.
  • Touring with Disney: Mickey's London Adventure (Savannah College of Art and Design): Celebrating London's fascinating history while capitalizing on the rich Disney legacy of British characters, this is an edutainment attraction that actively engages guests with their urban environment.
  • SAMM-E: Sustainable Automated Meal Mobile - Earth Class (UC Berkeley): An interactive, informative and tasty Disney experience where guests interact with SAMM-E and other robots to create their own, completely customizable meals out of organic, locally grown ingredients.
The competition is open to students from colleges and universities in the United States that are Juniors, Seniors, or full-time Graduate students, or within one year after graduation, enrolled in Architecture, Arts, Animation, Computer Science, Construction/Project Management, Creative Writing, Design, Engineering, Game Design, Graphic/Communications Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interactive Media Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture.

Contact: John Breckow, Frank Reifsnyder: Walt Disney Imagineering, (818) 544-2142
Tim Choy, Peter Goldman: Davidson & Choy Publicity, (323) 954-7510

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