Art Center students win top honors in Disney competition

Art Center College of Design's winning team of the 2013 ImagiNations Competition with their project “Disney’s Ukaipo Resort at Auckland, New Zealand.” Pictured (L-R) are Sophie McNally, Angela Li, Jennifer Cho and Sunmin Inn. © Disney. Photographer : Gary Krueger

Art Center students Jennifer Cho, Sunmin Inn, Angela Li and Sophie McNally were awarded first place and best in show in the Walt Disney Imagineering ImagiNations Design Competition.

Their project, “Disney’s Ukaipo Resort at Auckland, New Zealand ” is an iconic resort modeled after a Kauri, one of New Zealand’s most ancient and magnificent trees, enabling guests to experience Auckland from high up in trees, enjoying breathtaking views of the land while relaxing in this all-inclusive vacation experience.

Art Center student Jane Liu joined with Carnegie Mellon University students on the second place project, “Legenda Emas at Jakarta, Indonesia,” this interactive boat ride, based on an Indonesian legend, follows a betrothed prince and princess, and a jealous witch who wishes to keep them apart.

The winners were announced Feb. 1 at Imagineering headquarters in Glendale, California.

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. It also allows Imagineers to look for the next generation of creative and innovative thinkers for potential recruitment.

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.”

Twenty college students from six universities were finalists in Walt Disney Imagineering’s 22nd ImagiNations Design Competition. The top three placed teams were awarded cash prizes with the first place team receiving $3,000.

An additional $1,000 grant was awarded to the first place team, to be equally divided among its sponsoring universities and/or organizations.

The six teams of finalists visited Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale to make professional presentations to the judging panel, interview for paid internships and get a behind-the-scenes tour of Disneyland from the viewpoint of Imagineers. During their week at Imagineering, the teams met and networked with Imagineers from a variety of disciplines.

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