New degree in theme park design to be launched as SATE kicks off in Los Angeles
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New degree in theme park design to be launched as SATE kicks off in Los Angeles

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A new degree dedicated to experience design and themed entertainment is being launched today to coincide with the latest SATE (storytelling, architecture, technology and experience) conference in Los Angeles, California.

Created by the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), the specialised degree will help to address demand from Theme Parks in the US and further afield to create new, immersive attractions that utilise the latest technologies.

The bachelor of fine arts degree is to be taught primarily by either former or current members of the theme park industry, including experts such as Michael Jung, creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering; Jonathan Casson, director for live and location-based entertainment for 20th Century Fox film, television and new media; and Jason McManus, art director at Thinkwell Group.

Run by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), more than 400 delegates are set to attend the latest SATE conference, which will explore the future of immersive realities, as well as coming trends in the entertainment industry.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Jung – a CalArts alumnus and faculty member. In his role as executive creative director in charge of theatrical development for Walt Disney Imagineering, Jung will discuss the future of experience design with Travis Preston, dean of the CalArts School of Theater.

“CalArts provides students with an ever-expanding set of opportunities in new and future pathways for performance and design,” said Preston.

“This future-directed vision of entertainment is reflected by the TEA and we are thrilled to host SATE as it explores the newest developments in entertainment and looks ahead to the theatre of tomorrow.”

The two-day event kicks off today (5 October), and is the second SATE event this year, after SATE Europe, which took place in Beaulieu, England, in May. SATE LA will be followed by SATE Asia, which takes place 3-5 November in Beijing.

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A new degree dedicated to experience design and themed entertainment is being launched today at the launch of the latest SATE (storytelling, architecture, technology and experience) conference in Los Angeles, California.
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