Outside the (Cincinnati) Studio - A New Look for JRA Southeast Asia

August 30, 2011

JRA Southeast Asia Office

JRA Southeast Asia Office

Jack Rouse Associates Southeast Asia just unveiled its sparkling new office space in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. JRA is one of the first tenants in the new 28-story building, which is located in Kuala Lumpur’s Mont Kiara area, and the 2,000-square-foot office is perfect for the company’s current needs.

Design of the office was the work of Zarina Rafique, one of the directors of JRA Southeast Asia. Even the location in the building was her idea – it’s on the 17th floor, same as the Cincinnati office. “Since JRA’s three key colors are purple, orange and green, the office was most critically, visually themed in those colors,” says Rafique. “Even the desk accessories in the directors’ rooms are in those colors – Post-it notes, trash cans, even down to the highlighters in the color-matched pen holders!”

“Personally, my favorite area is the back-of-house, which has as its focal point an orange ’50s retro-design fridge, again, thanks to Zarina” says Shahryn Azmi, another JRA Southeast Asia director. “Our water glasses and mugs have purple accents, and other than coffee or tea, we also serve Welch’s grape juice to stay as company purple as possible.” Of some quirky value to staff and visitors is the shower, which was purpose-built to be able to offer everyone a convenient freshening-up facility in the office.

Asked what the new office means for JRA, Azmi believes that now JRA will be “able to provide itself with a more effective/efficient base of operations for team members working on local/area projects.”

Well, let me say on behalf of the Cincinnati team that we can’t wait to visit! Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out additional office pics on the JRA Facebook page.

Jumpa lagi (“see you next time”)!

 

 

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Blog N' Learn: Drawing Conclusions, Part 2

August 25, 2011

Getting Some Perspective on Birdseyes

Hello, again, and welcome to another Drawing Conclusions segment. Today, we’re covering the difference between perspectives and birdseyes. Building on our previous entry, perspectives and birdseyes are usually considered renderings because they are normally fully illustrated and colored.

Birdseyes (or birds-eyes or birds’ eyes) are just that – they evoke the feeling of being a bird looking down on the entire attraction.

They are the aerial view of the facility and are typically drawn during the final concept phase of theme park or attraction project.

Instead of making you feel like you’re flying above the attraction, perspective renderings make you feel like you are flying (or most likely, walking) through it. These are used for museum and attractions projects and convey three-dimensional qualities – the way you would actually see the museum or attraction. They are constructed to resemble our field of vision and create a sense of depth and balance.

 


There you have it! Next time, we’ll decipher the difference between bubble diagrams, flow diagrams and the various types of plans.  Thanks for reading!
 

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JRA Journeys: Cool Britannia

August 23, 2011

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Ripley's London

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From our first journey along the east coast of the US, we’ve traveled across North America, jaunted to Asia, and explored the beauty of Europe. It is now time for the last of our JRA Journeys segments, and we’re capping off the series with a look at three of our projects in the United Kingdom. So, cheerio, and let’s go!

Our first stop is Ripley’s London, located in the heart of Piccadilly Circus and housing 700 fascinatingly peculiar exhibits over its 5 floors. For over 40 years, Ripley – often referred to as the real Indiana Jones – traveled the world collecting the unbelievable, inexplicable and one-of-a-kind. Artifact highlights within the London attraction include an actual section of the Berlin Wall, genuine shrunken heads, an authentic vampire killing kit, a four-meter long model of London’s Tower Bridge made out of matchsticks and a 545-pound meteorite. JRA worked with Ripley Entertainment Inc. and London Bridge Entertainment Partners LLP to conceptualize, design and produce the attraction.

Twenty-one miles west of Charing Cross lies the town of Windsor. Most notable for its castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family, it is also the home of LEGOLAND® Windsor. Among its 150 acres of wooded landscape, LEGOLAND® Windsor has five main activity areas, interspersed with “peaceful clusters.” Each area relates to a different LEGO play theme, with interactive rides, shows, playscapes, building workshops, driving schools and a “Miniland” – a series of model towns and scenes from European cities, re-created in astonishing detail from millions of LEGO bricks.

Our final JRA Journey takes us northeast to the town of Coalbrookdale, located in Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire. The Coalbrookdale museum campus contains numerous museums and historic sites that tell the story of the Industrial Revolution. Jack Rouse Associates designed the tenth Coalbrookdale museum within this UNESCO World Heritage site, the popular Enginuity.

The 20,000-square-foot educational attraction showcases the principles of engineering within a historical context, while simultaneously making connections to contemporary design and technology. Working with the museum’s in-house staff, JRA designed a variety of cutting-edge interactives and displays, which have earned the museum rave reviews from both guests and the national press. In fact, just last week, Enginuity was named one of the top 20 paid attractions in the West Midlands by VisitEngland.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our JRA Journeys series. Remember, whether it’s halfway across the world or just outside your door, it’s never too late to have an adventure.

 

Tags: JRA Journeys

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Glenda 1:25PM 11/26/11

Drawing Conclusions in a New Blog N' Learn Series

August 18, 2011

Drawing Conclusions – Part 1
Sketches vs. Renderings

Hello, and welcome to another Blog N’ Learn. In this series, we help define some of the more commonly used (and often misinterpreted) terms in the museum and attraction design industry. Today, we begin our mini-series called Drawing Conclusions, where we’ll differentiate between the various types of drawings that a firm like JRA would provide you during the design process.

A question we are often asked is – what’s the difference between a sketch and a rendering? A sketch is typically done in black and white and is a simple, quickly executed drawing that provides the essential features of an object or space without the details. It can be done on a computer, on a drafting table, or even on a cocktail napkin! It’s that creative spark that you just have to write down before you forget. Sketches are typically produced as part of the preliminary concept phase of design.

Renderings, on the other hand, are more carefully planned and begin to show rough detailing of the building, attraction, exhibit or object. They are fully illustrated and colored and are typically drawn during the final concept design phase.

Got it? Great! Next time, we’ll cover the difference between perspectives and birdseye drawings. Thanks for reading!
 

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The blog looks great and it's packed with great information! Thanks.
Jason 12:16PM 08/18/11

Outside the Studio: Kings Island Day!

August 16, 2011

Run for Your Lives!  JRA Staff at Dinosaur's Alive
From L: Brent Ellis, Kelly Ellis, Chloe James, Dana Moore, Nelson Everhart, Dan Schultz, Kelly Webb, Keith James

Run for Your Lives! JRA Staff at Dinosaur's Alive From L: Brent Ellis, Kelly Ellis, Chloe James, Dana Moore, Nelson Everhart, Dan Schultz, Kelly Webb, Keith James

Last week, Jack Rouse Associates staff and friends took a break from the everyday and retreated to Kings Island park, just 30 minutes up the road from the JRA offices.  The team enjoyed time with family and each other as they screamed on the Diamondback coaster, glided 300 feet in the air on the new Windseeker walked through the world's largest animatronic dinosaur park.

"It was a wonderful day for all of us," said Assistant Operations Manager, Dana Moore, who organized the event.  "Theme parks are our business, so not only did we get to have fun with our families, friends and co-workers, we also got to learn about the latest and greatest rides and attractions."

After a day of fun, it's back to work!  Thursday, we'll begin our new Blog N' Learn series, Drawing Conclusions, where we'll decipher some of the more commonly misunderstood terms in the museum and attractions design industry.  In the meantime, enjoy these pics from Kings Island Day!

Executive Assistant Chloe James, CEO Keith James, Kelly Webb and COO Dan Schultz ride Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown at Planet Snoopy.  Meanwhile, Michael, son of Senior Project Designer Jeff Lichtenberg, awaits his turn - again!

 

Assistant Operations Manager, Dana Moore, is (very) eager to get on Diamondback. 

Senior Project Designer Bjorn Kemper and his family pose in front of their new pre-historic pet.  Hope they can fit him in the car!

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Blog N’ Learn: The Tale of the Pepper’s Ghost

August 11, 2011

Pepper's Ghost of Robert Ripley at Ripley's London

Pepper's Ghost of Robert Ripley at Ripley's London

Once upon a time (actually the mid-1800s), there was a British inventor named Henry Dircks. He developed the Dircksian Phantasmagoria – a concept for making a ghost appear onstage. Problem is, he couldn’t quite figure out how to execute it without having to re-build the whole theatre. Dircks presented his idea at the Royal Polytechnic, which was run by a chemist named John Henry Pepper. Pepper helped Dircks conquer his conundrum, and thus the ghost was born. While Pepper offered various times to give Dircks his due, the name Pepper’s Ghost stuck.

A Pepper’s Ghost is an illusory effect of an image projected by means of intense light and concealed mirrors onto a scrim so that it appears and disappears with the concealed light source. The mirrors can either be on the floor, or the illusion can be created via a large pane of glass situated between the viewer and the scene. The glass reflects a projection or object that is hidden from the viewer. More often today, the images are cinematic in nature.

Pepper first introduced his Ghost in a stage production of Charles Dickens’ The Haunted Man, to great critical success. Today, Pepper’s Ghosts are used throughout the museum and attraction world, the most famous being the Haunted Mansion at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Jack Rouse Associates has used Pepper’s Ghosts in several of its attractions, most recently to portray the private study of explorer and eccentric Robert Ripley at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London.

Tuesday, it's all about FUN as we celebrate JRA Kings Island Day!

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Meet the Team: Chloe James

August 09, 2011

Chloe James

Chloe James

Today, we'll meet the newest member of the JRA team - Executive Assistant, Chloe James.

Favorite entertainment experience

I lived in Orlando, FL for 4 years (age 1-5) because my dad was working at Universal Studios…I was obviously not big enough at the time to ride any of the rides, but since my dad worked there they were able to sneak me onto them anyways…definitely one of the perks of having a dad in the industry. However, I do think that I rode both King Kong and Jaws at least ten times each, and somehow never managed to see either of them…face hiding in Dad/Mom’s lap.

If I wasn’t working at JRA, I’d be ….

A Special Education teacher.

The part of my career I enjoy the most is …

Working with my dad…

The best idea in the history of mankind was …

SHOES

My favorite person ever is …

Lex…my sister. She’s 3 ½ years older than I am, and we couldn’t be more different, but I think that’s what makes us so close.
 

Thursday, we'll reveal a technique that has resulted in great museum and attraction experiences for over 100 years.

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Forbes Praises The World of Coca-Cola

August 04, 2011

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World of Coca-Cola - Atlanta, GA

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"What I believed would be a simple bottling tour turned into the realization that Coca-Cola embraced the world, social responsiblity, and was a cultural phenomenon...If any reader hasn’t visited the Coke museum, do so. Your creative juices will explode. If they don’t, you really need a vacation from your business." - Marianne Bickle, Forbes.com

Jack Rouse Associates provided the overall creative direction for The World of Coca-Cola, so this article was a great way to start our week!   It wouldn't be receiving this kind of praise if it weren't for the world-class animators, filmmakers and exhibit builders who worked tirelessly to realize JRA's designs and plans.  Kudos to the Coca-Cola Company and all of those who touched this fantastic project!

Want to read the rest of the article?  Click here.

Tuesday, we'll drop in on the newest member of the JRA team.

Tags: Project Spotlight

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Meet the Team: Five Questions for Irena Eckard

August 02, 2011

Irena Eckard

Irena Eckard

Her favorite game is chess, and don’t you dare call her a starving artist. For this “Five Questions” segment, let’s get to know JRA co-op, Irena Eckard.

If I wasn’t working at JRA, I’d be …
…working somewhere else! Haha! But, assuming that in the current economic situation no other full time positions were available, I would be doing free-lance work in both art and design for companies that make consumer products and sharpening my digital skills by learning new programs and practicing my sketching to prepare for the coming academic year.

Best advice anyone ever gave me …
“Don’t worry about grades. Grades don’t matter. You want an A? I’ll give you an A. Who cares.”
My sophomore design professor was the one who made me understand that when you’re in a creative field, the grades you got in school really don’t mean anything. The important thing is to learn the trade, not try to satisfy some arbitrary rating system. Outside of school, you’ll succeed on the strength of your craft, your work ethic, and your dedication.

I beat a creative block by …
…blasting my ears with different kinds of music. I can control my mood by what music I’m listening to, slow myself down with some smooth piano or hype things up with groups like Flogging Molly or The Fratellis. I like a wide range of music, but my favorite songs are the ones that make me feel alive. Those inspire my creative juices to flow no matter how bad a block I have.

I would advise anyone starting out in a creative career to …
…not fall prey to the starving-artist stereotype. If there is one thing that being a co-op has taught me, it’s that there ARE jobs for artists and writers and designers out there. You may not be on the road to being the next Michaelangelo, but you can make a good living doing something that you love.

Favorite board game
My favorite board game is chess. I’ve been playing it on and off since I was six and I often competed in scholastic tournaments throughout high school. I was also captain of my high school chess team. I like the fact that chess doesn’t involve random or hidden information, like card or dice games. Being able to see the whole board puts both people on equal footing, and you win or lose based on skill alone. I like to play aggressively and favor Bird’s Opening, which I’ve found always leads to an interesting game.

Thanks, Irena! 
 

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