April 16, 2012
Bjorn Kemper: Designer, Husband, Father - American.
Last Friday, Senior Project Designer Bjorn Kemper said the Pledge of Allegiance and was sworn in as a United States citizen. JRA observed the momentous occasion at this morning's staff meeting. Before the presents were given and the cake cut, however, Chief Operating Officer, Dan Schultz, couldn't help but give Bjorn one last citizenship test with the following two crucial questions:
1) Who was the voice of Darth Vader in the American version of Star Wars? (A: James Earl Jones)
2) Who was the original CEO of Jack Rouse Associates? (A: This is not a trick question)
Luckily, Björn passed with flying colors. He was then presented with a copy of Jon Stewart's America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, signed by the entire staff, as well as a brilliant poster created by fellow Senior Project Designer and graphics guru, Scot Ross. The festivities concluded with a mammoth American flag cake (what better way to celebrate America than with a junk food breakfast?).
Björn studied Architecture at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. He freelanced for German architects and various themed entertainment clients in Europe before coming to the US and joining JRA in 1999. His recent projects include attraction and exhibit design for the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta and for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Björn also played a leading role in the planning, design and art direction of Science Centre Singapore’s atrium experience and well as for attractions within both HarborLand – a 40-acre theme park in Ningbo, China – and Volkswagen’s Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany. Additionally, Björn played a key role in JRA’s work on the ZDF Television Studios’ “Medienpark” attraction in Mainz, Germany. Other recent clients include Cirque du Soleil, The Field Museum, National Geographic and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.
Björn's process to Americanization was a long and complicated one, as he sought to retain his citizenship to his native Germany. Luckily, the process was successful, and Björn is now a dual citizen of both countries. Here's what Björn had to say about the celebration this morning:
Just want to say thank you all so much! This was such an unexpected surprise!
The extremely difficult questions, far worse than one "What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?" - which took me 6 months to learn!
The poster with Umlaut-stars!
The American flag-sized cake!
The awesome book with the naked Supreme Court!
All proof that this is truly "the land of infinite possibilities" - or "das Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten" as we say in Germany.
Bjorn ( formerly known as Björn )
Please join us in congratulating Bjorn. We could not ask for a better member of our team and our country!
Tags: JRA Team
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