February 10, 2017
I would advise anyone starting out in a creative career to … try everything and anything! Even though I’m just starting out, I’ve found the best part of creative careers is the endless opportunities.
I wish I had come up with … Post-its
What are your favorite movies? My all time favorite: The Sound of Music
If you could have any super powers, what would they be? To teleport or to fly! It would be a much easier way to travel.
Dream experience design project: American Girl world park—I’ve always loved American Girl dolls, and it would be a childhood dream come true to bring that world to life!
Thank you, Katlyn! We hope you enjoy your time at JRA.
Tags: JRA Team
November 28, 2016
JRA VP Shawn McCoy presents "Emerging Trends in Immersive Design as part of Museum Day at the 2016 IAAPA Expo.
For the sixth year in a row, JRA Vice President, Shawn McCoy re-capped the blockbuster attractions of 2016 with Thinkwell Principal, Cynthia Sharpe as part of "Emerging Trends In Immersive Design" at the 2016 IAAPA Attractions Expo.
In their presentation, Shawn and Cynthia discovered that guests are craving community as much as personalization, quiet as much as noise, a step back to simplicity as much as modern technology. The result is an ecclectic mix of "Best of the Best" case studies, from London to Chicago, from a hilltop in Barcelona to the phone in your hand. While the techniques may differ, all of these projects aim to tell stories in unique and compelling ways.
As usual, the session played to a capacity crowd, to the point where dozens of eager audience members were turned away at the door (fire codes - not our fault!). If you were one of them, or if you couldn't make it to Orlando, you're in luck! Shawn was kind enough to record his presentation over the slide deck, so click below and enjoy.
If you are interested in a PDF version of the slide deck and script, please email Clara Rice at email@example.com.
November 22, 2016
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has honored Space Center Houston’s one-of-a-kind exhibit Independence Plaza with two Brass Ring Awards: first place Best New Product for Displays and Sets and the Impact Award. The international awards were bestowed Wednesday, November 16 at the IAAPA Expo Brass Ring Awards Ceremony.
“We are extremely honored and appreciative that our world-class exhibit received the most prestigious attractions industry award from our colleagues at IAAPA,” said Space Center Houston’s President and CEO William T. Harris. “The exhibit complex would not have been possible without the exceptional support and expertise from JRA as well as the incredible generosity of NASA, Boeing and our community making it an unprecedented learning experience for generations to come.”
Image courtesy IAAPA
Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide. The organization represents facility, supplier and individual members from 99 countries. The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards recognize outstanding new products and services developed by IAAPA’s manufacturer and supplier members operating in an attraction.
The awards are divided into categories, and the Displays and Sets Award recognizes excellence in the theming and design of an exhibit or attraction. The Impact Award is one of the most prestigious of the Brass Ring Awards program. It is awarded to a category winner that, in the opinion of the judges, had or will have the most impact on the amusement parks and attractions industry. Independence Plaza is the 11th JRA-designed project to win the Brass Ring Best New Product Award and the first to receive the Impact Award.
Since opening in 1992, Space Center Houston has welcomed more than 18 million visitors and currently hosts 1 million visitors annually in its 250,000-square-foot educational complex. It is one of Houston’s top destinations, the area’s No. 1 attraction for international visitors, the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and the only Smithsonian Affiliate in the greater Houston area.
Earlier this year, Space Center Houston unveiled its largest project since opening – the $15 million Independence Plaza. Visitors can enter the original shuttle carrier aircraft, NASA 905, and the shuttle replica Independence mounted on top. It is the world’s only shuttle mounted on a shuttle carrier aircraft and the only one allowing the public to enter both.
Multiple exhibits grant a rare glimpse into the historic shuttle era and describe its impact on current and future exploration. Fitting Space Center Houston’s educationally focused mission, the exhibits explore problem-solving concepts, possible career paths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and examples of innovation from the shuttle era.
JRA provided complete planning, design and project management for Independence Plaza and is honored to be bestowed with such a distinguished recognition.
The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws 1 million visitors annually, was called “The Big Draw” by USA Today and generates a $73 million annual economic impact in the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is Houston’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center. More than 100,000 teachers and students from around the world visit the center annually to take part in extraordinary learning opportunities. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.
Congratulations to all of the 2016 IAAPA Brass Ring Award Winners!
November 09, 2016
While next week's IAAPA Expo is known for its fabulous networking opportunities, stimulating educational sessions, and blockbuster parties, one of the most heartwaming aspects of the weeklong conference is IAAPA's partnership with Give Kids the World.
Give Kids the World was founded in 1986, when a little girl with leukemia was not able to raise the funds for an Orlando dream vacation before her passing. Henri Landwirth, a hotelier who had tried to help that little girl, vowed to never let a sick child's wish go unfulfilled again. With the help of his colleagues in the hospitality industry, he began arranging dream vacations for children with life-threatening illness and their families, sometimes at a moment's notice. As demand grew, Landwirth knew he needed a permanent home for this important project. Give Kids the World Village opened in 1989, and is now a 79-acre resort with 144 villa accommodations, attractions and activities, serving 146,000 families from all 50 states and 75 countries.
IAAPA holds a number of fundraising events for Give Kids the World during its annual Orlando Expo, including a Motorcycle Ride, an International Charity Golf Tournament, a raffle, and the Footprints from the Heart 5K. As in previous years, JRA staff members have formed a team for the race, which winds through the whimsical pathways of the Village, enabling us to see first-hand the impact of this amazing organization.
"Give Kids the World holds a large place in everyone in the industry's hearts," said Chloe James, JRA Director of Marketing and Business Development (and JRA team captain). "JRA takes part in the race every year because of just that. It's a morning where we get to see what this incredible place offers to its visiting families first hand. IAAPA Expo week is crazy, but this gives us all a reality check as to why we do what we do everyday, and we wouldn't miss it for the world." Chloe has reached the medal podium three of the last four years, so she's hoping for another victory in 2016!
You can help support the wonderful work of Give Kids the World by sponsoring the JRA Team. CLICK HERE to make your safe and secure donation, and help make wishes come true for critically ill children and their families.
November 08, 2016
Sam Colvin and Melinda Spurling
JRA is pleased to announce the addition of two members to the JRA team: Sam Colvin, Designer, and Melinda Spurling, Controller.
A designer with a background in environmental graphics, Sam was a part-time member of JRA before recently joining the studio full-time. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from the acclaimed University of Cincinnati Design, Architecture, Art and Planning school with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communication Design. Sam has interned with environmental graphic design firms around the country and has experience working in retail, entertainment, corporate and mixed-use environments. While interning at Infinite Scale, Sam designed graphics and environments for professional and collegiate sports stadiums, creating memorable visitor experiences. Outside the studio, Sam enjoys photography and the outdoors.
Melinda Spurling joined JRA from GBQ Partners, where she still serves part-time as an accounting manager. There she manages business and personal accounting services, accounting software systems (including training and conversions), cash management and payroll. Previously, Melinda served as a Pricing Analyst at JohnsonDiversey and a Staff Accountant for David A. Roberts, CPA. Though she holds an Associates Degree in Accounting from Cincinnati State, Melinda is largely self-taught. At JRA, she provides accounting, cash management and financial planning functions. Outside the studio, Melinda enjoys organic gardening, ComicCon-type conventions, and tearing apart and remodeling her house.
"We are thrilled to add Melinda and Sam to our JRA team," said JRA Chief Operating Officer, Dan Schultz. "Coming from outside our industry, Melinda brings a unique blend of enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to our business." Adds CEO, Keith James, "Sam’s creativity and software knowledge have already been a fantastic asset to our project design and marketing efforts."
Congratulations, Sam and Melinda, and welcome to the team!
Tags: JRA Team