Jim Korkis: Is the only way to keep a Tomorrowland from going out of date to do a retro approach as was done in Discoveryland in Disneyland Paris that was later adapted for the U.S. Disney parks?

Eddie Sotto: Seems like it, unless you design the land as a World’s Fair pavilion or changeable platform that anticipates change (that the company has a program to support) or set the bar way out there to demonstrate things that are fairly far off, like autonomous cars or drone taxis etc.

The Monorail is a good example. It lasted fairly long as a unique mode of transport that captured the imagination. Airports have eclipsed Peo- pleMovers and Monorails now, but it took a decade or so for them to do so. The Innoventions pavilion was supposed to be that flexible platform, like the Computer Electronics show in Vegas, that represented the “just around the corner” technology, but even that was too hard to pull off, given Disney’s sponsor agreements and slow-to-execute culture, and was uneven as to the entertainment value.

Another example—In the early 2000s I was invited to represent place-based design for the Italian design firm Pininfarina in the USA (the firm that does the body design for Ferrari and branched out into hotels, etc.). I approached Disney, proposing to develop an Italian-styled Tomorrowland by Pininfarina for Shanghai Disneyland. The point here was to create a beautiful, seamless world, like Disneyland’s Tomorrow- land in 1967 but you could consume it. The style itself was really the exciting part. […]

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