News Big changes coming to EPCOT's Future World?

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I think the Gensler/Bouza aspect of a lot of recent redevelopment at WDW is something that needs to be studied and discussed (perhaps in a new General Discussion thread?) How did the partnership come about? Who was impressed with her portfolio and why? Who thought sterile modern architecture and design would be a good idea to implement on such a grand scale throughout the resort? To what degree did Bouza's connection to Gensler influence the choice of architectural firms and designers and was there any responsible oversight of these choices? How did Lake Nona play into all of this?
There was no partnership with Gensler nor has there been any major change in the firms being hired to do work.

Bouza wasn’t brought in to be a lead designer. She was brought in for her experience in managing and coordinating complex, large scale projects. Design driven by the show/creative side of the design team, not the architectural/facility side.

Unless you’re dealing with the firm of a specific big name architect known for a distinctive style, the size of firms hired by Disney don’t have a distinctive aesthetic. The same is true of Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Creative. Different projects are handled by completely different teams. Even when grouped under the umbrella of a larger project there are separate teams working on different aspects of the project.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
There was no partnership with Gensler nor has there been any major change in the firms being hired to do work.

Bouza wasn’t brought in to be a lead designer. She was brought in for her experience in managing and coordinating complex, large scale projects. Design driven by the show/creative side of the design team, not the architectural/facility side.

Unless you’re dealing with the firm of a specific big name architect known for a distinctive style, the size of firms hired by Disney don’t have a distinctive aesthetic. The same is true of Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Creative. Different projects are handled by completely different teams. Even when grouped under the umbrella of a larger project there are separate teams working on different aspects of the project.
Ok….so you just fingered WDI as sucking as an organization from top to bottom
 

Virtual Toad

Well-Known Member
There was no partnership with Gensler nor has there been any major change in the firms being hired to do work.

Bouza wasn’t brought in to be a lead designer. She was brought in for her experience in managing and coordinating complex, large scale projects. Design driven by the show/creative side of the design team, not the architectural/facility side.

Unless you’re dealing with the firm of a specific big name architect known for a distinctive style, the size of firms hired by Disney don’t have a distinctive aesthetic. The same is true of Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Creative. Different projects are handled by completely different teams. Even when grouped under the umbrella of a larger project there are separate teams working on different aspects of the project.
Thanks for the perspective. Barbara's career and experience are impressively notable, and she was certainly brought in at a challenging time for Imagineering. It's difficult from the outside to know to what degree an Imagineering president's involvement touches on the realms of design versus project management. One would think it would be a little bit of both. Her experience as a licensed architect would lead to speculation that she at least had a hand in steering the look of projects in the pipeline, but as you rightly point out, the reality is always more nuanced.

When I speculate about Gensler's connection, it comes from a curiosity about the cross-pollination of Imagineering execs moving to/from Gensler to Disney and vice versa. Even if the firm had no official ties to WDI projects, it seems to the casual observer that the real-world design trends Gensler represents seem to mirror WDI's move away from exclusively (or at least primarily) fantastical design into projects rooted more in the architecture of the real world. I've been pondering why this is, and who actually designed and approved the plans for things like the hub, Poly DVC and Ft. Wilderness cabins. Who at Disney (Chapek? Someone else?) steered creative decision-making in this direction? Did WDI design the hub redo and Communicore Hall in-house from the ground up, down to every detail, or were outside consultants brought in? I ask because the project's results are decidedly evocative of a downtown development/urban core redesign, and there are multiple firms doing exactly the kind of work the finished hub and Comminicore Hall bring to mind.

So, is there a concrete tie to outside influences, is it a matter of upper Disney management showing a personal preference for the style of architecture such as those from Gensler and other real-world firms, or is Disney simply hopping onto the trend because that's the type of architecture many of today's architects are comfortable with and capable of?

BTW, WDI is certainly still capable of the fantastical. It seems evident or at least plausible the team that designed the Moana walk-through is different from other groups that worked on the hub. So where did the more bland, real-world architectural influence come from, and why is WDW the destination for so many of these types of projects?
 

James Alucobond

Well-Known Member
BTW, WDI is certainly still capable of the fantastical. It seems evident or at least plausible the team that designed the Moana walk-through is different from other groups that worked on the hub. So where did the more bland, real-world architectural influence come from, and why is WDW the destination for so many of these types of projects?
I do not think WDW is the sole destination for this, particularly when it comes to the hotel design you mentioned. Even the Fantasy Springs hotel is mostly a series of lightly adorned boxes. As for why EPCOT might be especially susceptible to looking like contemporary and/or near-future urban renewal projects should be obvious given the original concept and theme. That said, it can be executed well or poorly, but it’s not exactly off brand for the park.
 

ToTBellHop

Well-Known Member
Okay, who ordered New Epcot from Wish?
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