Engineering with imagination. This simple concept has propelled Disney's many theme parks and perfectly encapsulates the synthesized relationship between design and technology. Imagineering is now a full-fledged field in its own right, one that continues to grow and has need of emerging talent.
It is with this in mind that teams of undergraduate students from all over the country participated in Walt Disney Imagineering’s 27th Imaginations Design Competition in January. Tasked with reimagining a real-life 'ghost town' into a magical, immersive experience on par with other Walt Disney Parks, Kaho Horiuchi ('19 Motion Design), Yumi Yamazaki ('19 Animation), Kentaro Yajima ('19 Game and Entertainment), were awarded third place for the whimsical Oniba.
A personalized companion and guide, called Mabu, takes visitors through the revitalized Oniba park. Closed during the economic crash of 1991, this ghost town is now an elaborate vacation spot, popular for its beautiful nature and hot springs. Tucked away in the far corner of the Kinugawa River in Tochigi, Japan, guests can enjoy activities and encounter spirits, complete with souvenir, customizable Mabu accessories.
Twenty students from six teams were finalists in the competition out of more than 270 qualified project submissions. All finalists received an all-expense-paid trip to the Imagineering headquarters where they presented their projects, networked with Imagineers, and interviewed for internships.
For more information on the Imaginations Design Competition, visit www.disneyimaginations.com.