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Canfield native takes part in design competition

By J.T. Whitehouse

January 23, 2014
The Town Crier

Canfield graduate and Carnegie Mellon University student Christina Brandt is heading to Glendale, Calif. Jan. 27 to take part in a competition based around engineering and imagination when she attends Walt Disney Imagineering's 23rd Imaginations competition.

The event brings university teams from across the nation together to showcase their talents.

According to publicity spokesperson Laura Shane, six teams were selected for the competition. The teams presented ideas to meet the challenge of selecting a large and densely populated urban area and design an experience that temporarily or permanently transforms the city for the enjoyment of its citizens and visitors.

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Christina Brandt, a Canfield High School graduate and student at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named a finalist in the 23rd Walt Disney Imagineering's Imagination design competition.

"This year's six teams of finalists represent California Institute of the Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, San Diego State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of California Los Angeles and University of Pennsylvania," Shane said.

The six finalist teams are awarded five-day, all-expense-paid trip to Imagineering in Glendale, from Jan. 27 to 31. During that week, the teams will present their projects to Imagineering executives. They will also have an opportunity to meet and network with Imagineers, go behind the scenes where Disney magic is created, and interview for paid internships during their visit.

As to judging the competition, a panel of Imagineering judges will apply the same criteria to the entries as they would to their own work, including the team's ability to collaborate across different disciplines and backgrounds, the mastery of individual skills, whether the project provides an engaging guest experience, an understanding of the local and tourist market in the chosen location for the project, the ability to tell a compelling and engaging story and knowledge and passion for the Disney brand and Walt Disney Imagineering.

According to Shane, the competition comes with awards on the final day. The the top three placed teams will be awarded cash prizes with first place receiving $3,000. The competition, Shane said, also is a good place to showcase talent as Disney uses Imaginations as a way to reach the widest possible talent pool for future employment.

For Brandt and fellow Carnegie Mellon team members Matthew Ho, Angeline Chen and John Brieger, the project they are presenting involves two distant cities. Titled "Antipode," the presentation involves a two-week long festival of cultural exchange in Bangkok, Thailand and Lima, Peru. The two cities are antipodal to one another, meaning they are on exact opposite ends of the globe. Magical whispering trees serve as portals between the two cities and as an entry into the narrative surrounding the festival. Throughout the two weeks, memories stored in the tree in Lima will leak out in Bangkok, and vice-versa, setting the stage for a series of events that transpose Lima and Bangkok's culture and experience. Through market swaps, cultural performances, live web portals and more, Antipodes turns the everyday into the extraordinary as part of an evolving dialogue between the cities of Lima and Bangkok.

Shane said the projects and concepts presented are not necessarily intended to be built by Disney, but are simply a way for the entrants to demonstrate their skills and creative abilities.



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