Thursday, June 20, 2024

Erasing the line between theory and practice

Editorial by Judith Rubin, InPark Magazine Editor

Alterface designed The Wander technology to give storytellers and operators extensive and profound options for the creation and implementation of interactive, non-linear guest experiences. We’re eagerly looking forward to seeing the first Wander-empowered experiences realized in the near future.

Meanwhile, a group of five graduate students from the UCF Themed Experience Program (in Orlando) set out to explore The Wander, with direct input and guidance from Alterface (in Belgium). The results of that exercise, published in this issue of InPark, show what great things can happen when industry and education join hands.

Collaborations such as this help students – tomorrow’s industry innovators and leaders – begin to grasp the real issues of attraction development. The Alterface exercise put cutting-edge tools into their hands and provided a platform for meaningful dialogue with the innovators.

The UCF graduate studies programs are headed by Professor Peter Weishar, a pioneer in themed experience education. They cultivate creative growth in partnership with industry, in exemplary fashion. These masters candidates are already working in the field, and the study program is tailored to accommodate that. Prof. Weishar brings experts and leaders into the classroom; he brings students into company settings; he forms ties to industry organizations and gets his students involved.

The students and the industry respond with enthusiasm. Alterface demonstrated the qualities that make them leaders in the field. Alterface principals were closely involved throughout this exercise and provided thoughtful feedback from a well of knowledge and experience, with keen awareness of the various practical and creative issues involved.

The industry’s growing academic arm reflects the characteristic bold creativity of the industry itself. These students don’t live in an academic bubble – they are learning in a transparent, collaborative setting. They will graduate already having connections and experience, a working knowledge of their chosen field and exposure to multiple disciplines – a strong basis from which to continue and contribute.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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