My design thesis project this year centred around thematic spaces, with the eventual goal of building a theme park of my own. I spent first semester researching and exploring the design elements that create a successful thematic space at parks like Disney World and Universal Studios. In December, I began working on “Sponge World”: a SpongeBob SquarePants themed park-expansion at Universal Studios in Orlando.
I started the project by watching a lot of SpongeBob and deciding what I wanted to include in my space. I wanted every part of the space to feel straight from the show. One of my biggest takeaways from the research phase of the project was the importance of environmental storytelling. I wanted guests to feel like they were really in Bikini Bottom, on an episode of SpongeBob in which they are the main character. From bathrooms to benches, there is no detail too small when creating a fully immersive environment. From there I developed layouts and a series of concept art that acted as a proposal for what the space would eventually look like.