University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
|August 7, 2000|
Contact: Myrtle Ching-Rappa, Director Student Employment & Cooperative Education 956-4399
|UH design team wins Disney competition|
The Walt Disney company is looking for "imagineers," and they may have found them at the University of Hawai'i. This year, UH design teams placed first and third in the national Disney Imagi-Nations competition.
UHM master in fine arts (MFA) candidates Stephen Crowell and Rienhardt Krekow won the 2000 competition. Their creation, "Origins" is an interactive theme park, resort and hotel which is designed to educate as well as entertain. It fills in the missing pages of Marco Polo's journal during his travels. The concept aims at both eastern and western audiences and celebrates the spirit of exploration and curiosity about the world. "We were determined to create a project that would excite both eastern and western audiences," said Krekow.
I am most proud of the story and characters that we created," said Crowell. "Without the story there would be no life to the project and I believe that it was the life that the Disney's executives felt."
"Origins" also incorporates World Wide Web and CD-ROM technology, welcoming visitors from all over the world. The whole project takes into account the cultural and linguistic needs of a global audience.
Time was their biggest challenge. Crowell is a technical director at the Polynesian Cultural Center and is pursuing an MFA in theatrical design. Krekow is a music professor at BYU-Hawai'i and is pursuing an MFA in theatrical directing. "Being fathers, husbands, grad students and full time employees meant great sacrifices." Crowell said. "Origins" took the team more than 700 hours over several months to complete. But the effort was worth it.
"The most rewarding aspect of the Disney Imagineering Competition are the professional connections and interviews which are resulting from our participation in the competition," Krekow said.
Imagi-Nations is designed to identify potential "imagineers" for Walt Disney Imagineering, the team that dreams up and constructs the world famous theme parks. UH is one of several institutions selected to participate in the national competition.
UH also came in third place with architecture students, Joon Ho Chai, Margaret Innes, Jenisse Miyamoto and Sochet Vitou Tang's design, "Shizu's Journey." UH design teams have placed in the finals seven times in the eight years UH has participated in the Disney Imagi-Nations competition.
Crowell and Krekow each received a $2,000 scholarship and each of the members of the third place team received $1,000 scholarships.
"The best part of participating in the competition was the collaboration of great artistic and imaginative minds," Crowell said. "Without the cooperative spirit of all involved we could not have achieved what we presented."