Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Plans for the New Year

This year, I am going to start a new series of posts that fulfill one of my original promises for the blog: text posts, or as I first called them, architectural commentaries about theme park design. My intent was to attempt to apply some of my architectural training to study the design of themed spaces and why we like them so much.

I had tried to start this up a few times this last year, but never had the time to properly put together a plan for introducing this new kind of post. Now, with a new year, I should have the time and ability to get this going.

So with this new kind of post, my schedule is going to slightly change.

From now on my plan is for 2 posts a month. A text post on the second Wednesday of each month, and a full design post the fourth Wednesday of each month. So every two weeks you should have new content. I will do my best to keep that schedule, and if I don't have something on time for a scheduled post, I will still post with an update. So check back every other week to stay up to date!

I also want to say that my goal with these texts posts is to start conversations about the topics, not just one sided lectures. I hope to include questions in each of these posts that we can discuss in the comments. Talking with you about theme parks is way more fun than just talking to you. So please leave comments and share!

Now for some details on the content of the text posts.

I have a bunch of things that I want to talk about so there is not going to be a single theme, but, as I have planned now, the text posts are going to break down to one main series and then a bunch of random topic posts.

The main series for the time being will be something I am going to call The Environmentals. Name subject to change. This is going to be the main architectural commentary series that covers the little elements of design that makes theme parks special.

In each post, I'm going to present a discussion about a particular design element or strategy and how that affects our perception of a park. Some examples include the visual structure of "weenies", the scale of parks, the draw of kinetic motion, water, vegetation, music, and more. Some may be unexpected things, but I see all as important.

These are crucial elements that define the environment of the modern theme park. Specifically, the kind of theme park where the park is the biggest E ticket, like Disney and Universal parks. These uniquely special places call on a variety of urban planning and sensory design tools to create convincing and transformative environments that we love to spend time in, instead of just being walkways between attractions. There is a reason why Disneyland is special, and these posts will try to discover and explain why.

These posts will be somewhat researched with references, but will mostly be formatted as a casual discussion based on my personal knowledge and experiences with theme parks.

Besides those main posts, I'm also going to throw in some other topics that don't fit in that series, such as more in-depth discussions about the successes or failures of specific lands or attractions. Some things will not be about design at all, such as top lists, reviews, or maybe trip reports. Who knows where these posts will go, but this will be our chance to talk about theme park stuff.

This first post will be the text post for January and a new design post will be out in two weeks. Next month will be the first Environmentals post and will be an introduction to the topic and some thoughts on the general urban planning strategy of a theme park.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you all back and talking theme parks with me soon!