Monday, October 1, 2012
Since Walt Disney opened the quintessential utopia of leisure in 1955 in Anaheim, California, Disneyland and its empire—actual amusement parks such as Disney World, Euro-Disney, and Tokyo Disney, as well as its atomized offspring in the form of The Mickey Mouse Club, brands like Hannah Montana, and Disney Films—have transformed notions of childhood, spaces of leisure, and concepts of the public, urban space. This discussion will explore the design innovations that produced spaces like the Magic Kingdom, the utopian aspirations behind EPCOT, and the urban planning concepts driving Main Street and New Orleans Square, which together produce an environment of innocence, exploration, and adventure for children and adults alike.
Jennifer Gray (PhD, Columbia University) is a historian of modern art and architecture, specializing in the relationships between progressive social politics and the built environment. She teaches and lectures at The Museum of Modern Art.
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