Dave Cobb of Thinkwell joins SATE '13 speaker lineup: TEA's design conference Oct 3-4 in Savannah

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The SATE ’13 conference committee, chaired by Aram Ebben of exp, and Stefan Lawrence of Stefan Rules! has released a preliminary program in keeping with this year’s “What’s Next” theme. Additional speakers and details will be announced in coming weeks. The annual design conference, organized by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), is hosted this year at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia, Oct 3-4.
Thursday, October 3
Donald Marinelli Keynote Address
Don Marinelli (founder, ETC, Carnegie Mellon University) will deliver a shot across the bow – a challenge to us as an industry to engage in what he calls “whole brain” thinking. When we go beyond the old left brain/right brain paradigm, we can harness a more complete understanding of the intersection between art and technology.
Adam Bezark (The Bezark Company) presents this lively, entertaining segment about where storytelling is headed in our modern age. An amazing range of story minds, from inside and outside the experience industry, are joining us to discuss such topics as:

  • Tools You Can Use – We’ll explore new and classic tools for strengthening the stories your projects… whether you’re creating a dark ride, a museum exhibit or a looping wooden coaster.
  • Storytelling Technology – How are storytellers using new software to craft complex, interactive and engaging stories and new formats?
  • Where do we go from here? – The market for storytelling is exploding into areas never imagined. Where is story heading, and how can you be part of the journey?

Al Cross (PGAV) curates this segment about the state of architecture and its role in the themed entertainment world.

  • Creating an Attraction is Like Making A Great Movie – Jonathan F. Douglas (VOA) discusses how architecture can be used to tell great stories. By encouraging audience engagement and interpretation, narrative spaces can create deep, meaningful experiences.
  • Delivering Story: Architecture’s Role – This roundtable discussion focuses on the ways in which architecture can deliver story without overwhelming it. How much of the backstory needs to exist in studs and drywall? What is the architect’s role in determining the balance?

Opening night reception… stay tuned for details
Friday, October 4
Mk Haley (Disney Research) brings us a segment all about the exciting advances in technology that are enabling us to create richer entertainment experiences.

  • The Death of Halogen and the Rise of Coherent Light – Paul Kent and Bryan Hinckley of Electrosonic lead this discussion about recent advances in lighting and projection technology and how they can be applied in new and creative ways to the world of themed entertainment.
  • The Now and Next in Interactive Technology – This session explores the exciting new world of interactive experiences made possible by new technology.
  • How are these new opportunities being exploited to create genuinely great guest experiences? What are the challenges inherent in providing intimate, personal experiences on a theme park scale?
  • What the Kids Are Up To – In one-minute video segments, students, researchers and artists from around the world will reveal what they’re working on, what they’re excited about, and what’s just over the horizon.

Phil Hettema (The Hettema Group) leads this segment dedicated to the experience – the result of storytelling, architecture and technology all coming together.

  • Cosplay Colonists – Dave Cobb (Thinkwell) explores the ways in which fans creatively express themselves through role-playing and user-generated experiences. Increasingly, fans are not content to merely consume the things they love, but desire to live out their fantasies in the real world, leading to intersections of audiences and destinations that have never before existed.
  • Creating Meaning Together – Jake Barton (Local Projects) talks about creating genuine meaning in collaborative public spaces. From the 9/11 Museum to Storycorps, Local Projects has focused on engaging audiences through emotion and technology. This session will examine how new ways of interacting with technology is impacting how we tell stories together.

Pixar: A Culture of Collaboration – Keynote Address
In the closing keynote, Roger Gould and Liz Gazzano let us inside the world of Pixar. They’ll discuss how Pixar fosters a culture of collaboration among its many departments, and how they work with Walt Disney Imagineering to create attractions that seamlessly step off the screen and into the real world.
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