An image of a ferris wheel with a modern city behind.

Story Building: Secrets of Narrative Placemaking and Design from Entertainment Architecture

Ignite your productivity, leadership skills, and creativity by adopting a storytelling approach to placemaking design that will elevate your projects and make them appealing to users and investors.

When Florida’s Walt Disney World opened in 1971, NBC’s David Brinkley called it “the most imaginative and effective piece of urban planning in America.” This two-hour online workshop, taught by a 30+ year veteran of theme park design with Disney and Universal Creative, demonstrates how to import the practices from designing theme parks into the discipline of placemaking.

The goal is to elevate your conversations about your projects and improve your spatial design by incorporating tips and tricks used in entertainment architecture. This approach will enable you to successfully engage audiences by creating spaces that entertain and delight

What to Expect

a lively discussion among AMDP participants
a presentation being given by Steve Tatham
  • Learn five fundamental principles of entertainment architecture.
  • Practice how to reframe your project into an emotionally engaging story by adapting the practices of theme park design.
  • Reframe your thinking from being investor-focused into user-focused because the user is the one who is funding your project.
  • Understand marketing data’s role in analyzing what is essential to your potential user.
  • Acquire the skills to tell distinct, memorable stories.
  • Grow as a leader by becoming a better storyteller.
  • This is a workshop for anyone interested in placemaking as a storytelling discipline. 
  • This includes all real estate professionals and designers who are engaged in making places.
  • This workshop does not require previous design experience or ability.

We recommend anyone signing up for this program to read Karal Ann Marling’s Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance Hardcover.

You might suppose that entertainment architecture is the architecture of theaters and amusement parks, and structures exclusively designed by theme park architects. However, the term entertainment architecture can refer to any building or structure, regardless of its location and function, provided that it is designed to stimulate the imagination and encourage fantasy and whimsy. 

Some works of entertainment architecture are playful recreations of famous monuments. Some feature enormous statues and fountains. Entertainment architecture is often considered postmodern because it uses familiar shapes and details in unexpected ways.

Source: ThoughtCo.


Headshot of Steve Tatham

Steve Tatham

Executive Creative Director, Universal Creative

Story Building: Secrets of Narrative Placemaking and Design from Entertainment Architecture

May 8, 2024 | 11:00am – 01:00pm EST

Tuition: $199
AMDP Elective Units: 0

Program size is limited and early registration is recommended.

Discounts & Deadlines

Please email us at [email protected] with any questions and to ask about group signup.

Registration Deadline: 3 hours before the start of the program.

Full Discount and Cancellation Policies