June 28, 2005 —
Dolce Wang and Michelle Costamagna were the youngest entrants in the competition.
USC students Michelle Costamagna and Dolce Wang have been awarded first place
in the team category for the 2005 Disney Imagi-Nation University Design Competition.
Costamagna is in the Bachelor of Architecture Program in the USC School of Architecture.
Wang is in mechanical engineering in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and
has a minor in cinema/television.
Costamagna and Wang received the award for their design of a Disney Princess
Hotel, a princess-themed structure featuring a 600-ft. rotating restaurant fashioned
after the enchanted rose from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” They will receive
a $2,000 scholarship and the opportunity to interview for internships at Walt
Disney Imagineering (WDI) and The Walt Disney Co.
Imagi-Nations is a university design competition created and sponsored by WDI
in order to promote diversity. The competition enables students from around the
world to showcase their talents and gain practical knowledge in design, with the
opportunity to earn scholarship money and internships.
The annual contest allows participants to propose anything any creative project
their imaginations can fashion. WDI is the master planning, creative development,
design, engineering, production, project management and research and development
subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co.
Costamagna and Wang were the youngest entrants in the competition, having just
completed their second year at USC.
“When we entered this competition we were well aware that our different majors
would help us in the research and design of our entry,” Costamagna said.
“We hope that our extracurricular participation in this competition will encourage
others to explore their own imaginations and creativity in design. It also promotes
the interdisciplinary collaboration in and outside of coursework.”
Both students found the competition beneficial and life changing. “It helped
me learn about discipline, working life, art and relationships,” Wang said. “I
was able to spend an entire week with Disney Imagineers to see how genuine and
down-to-earth they are, and of course it helped bring our schools together.”
Stressing the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration, USC School of Architecture
Dean Robert H. Timme said, “Problems and opportunities in today’s world are too
complex to be addressed by a single profession. The jury from Disney Imagi-Nation
realized this and saw the value of the collaboration between architecture and
engineering in Michelle and Dolce’s work.”
Paul R. Tang, adjunct assistant professor in the school and coordinator of the
second-year design studio, said, “I am particularly proud of their ability to
come together from different disciplines and overcome all the difficulties, obstacles
and personal differences to create a unified voice in their proposal. Michelle
and Dolce navigated through a very difficult competition. This is where their
ability to work as a team prevailed.”
-- Jane Ilger