"Startlingly Creative"

IDSA SMA Winner Scores a Top Spot in Disney Imagineering Competition

Feb 1 2018 - 8:49am

All mages Courtesy: ©Disney  Gary Krueger

For the second year in a row, an IDSA Student Merit Award winner has captured one of the top spots at the Imaginations Design Competition hosted by Disney Imagineering!

"The most valuable takeaway from the IDSA SMAs, as well as from the Walt Disney Imagineering Competition, is really the people you will get to meet along your way," says Claire Puginier, IDSA. "Being at these events means being surrounded by creators who are truly passionate about what they do and are committed to pushing their practice, as well as the overall boundaries and collaborations in design. By being there and having the chance to interact with these people, you've already won the most important thing."

Six teams earned an all-expense-paid trip Jan. 22–26, 2018 to Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA to network with Imagineers, go behind-the-scenes and interview for paid internships. "In the week spent at Walt Disney Imagineering, my biggest takeaway has been how natural the relationship between art, design and engineering is when creating immersive environments," Puginier tells us. "When all three disciplines are collaborating, the transition of 2D into 3D and eventually 4D is an equally natural progression."

Teams selected an actual abandoned “ghost town” anywhere in the world and had to revitalize it. They considered its historic value and respected the traditions and communities of the original and surrounding areas. Disney calls the entry concepts "startlingly creative."

Puginier, our SMA 2017 winner from South District, graduated in December 2017 from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The SCAD team, which also included students Cameron Hoss, Corrie Pickering and Emily Sasaki, scored second place for designing "Spaceport Hashima," a few miles off the coast of Japan. "Created from renovating existing buildings of a former Japanese ghost town, Hashima is a thriving interplanetary terminal surrounded by a world-class luxury destination resort featuring museums, world-renowned restaurants and lively nightlife, as well as research and development facilities."

First place was awarded to another SCAD team: Carlos Ginatta, Michael Howell, Maria Mondloch and Maya Vyas. "Caguaya" would be built around the sunken ruins of the 17th century city of Port Royal. This SCAD team won $1,000. An additional $1,000 grant was awarded to the sponsoring university.

Third place went to a team from Otis College of Art and Design for "Oniba," off the Kinugawa River in Tochigi, Japan. 

Many past winners, including SMA 2017 winner from the Midwest District, Erin Rice, IDSA, have become Imagineering interns. Some have even become full-time Imagineers and returned to serve as mentors or judges for future Imaginations competitions.

IDSA SMAs 2018 are open for entry at the school level now!