Featured Speakers

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Level 1, Main Hall  
Saturday, 19 December 2009 14:15 - 15:45

Joe Rohde
Senior Vice President, Creative, Walt Disney Imagineering

Story Structure and the Design of Narrative Environments
Joe Rohde discusses the use of narrative structure as a guideline for conceptualization and design of physical and virtual spaces. The rules of storytelling are well understood when applied to traditional linear forms derived from literature, but spatial environments pose challenges that require special treatment. The principles that inform storytelling in built physical space can apply as well to virtual space. Ths featured talk covers some guidelines and principles for creating spaces that serve both the initial needs of the primary designer or storyteller and the needs of future audiences, who may seek to re-adapt the narrative to their own purposes.

Joe Rohde is an Executive Designer and Senior Vice President at Walt Disney Imagineering. He is the creative lead for Disney's Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and related new projects. He has led conceptualization, design, and production for Disney's Animal Kingdom since its inception in 1990. He also oversees creative development at Disney's newest luxury resort project in Hawaii, which is scheduled to open in 2011.

He also led development and production of Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This project took him and other Imagineers to the mountains of Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibetan Sichuan, researching the background details to incorporate into the very authentic environment designed for Expedition Everest. His travels for the research and production work were featured in a series of hour-long programs on the Discovery Network.

He began his career at Walt Disney Imagineering as a model designer and scenic painter in 1980, working on the México pavilion for Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. He also worked on numerous attractions for the redesigned Fantasyland at Disneyland in the 1980s, Captain EO, and the Norway pavilion for Epcot, before commencing his responsibilities on Disney's Animal Kingdom.