On July 17, 1955, the Disneyland Resort, or more commonly, Disneyland, opened its doors to a world full of guests. Together with two themed parks, a series of hotels and a downtown shopping and dining complex, Disneyland operates as a desirable falsification – dinosaurs, castles, alligators and fake attractions exist in an imaginary world system, mimicking a fantastical reality and avoiding the political inconvenience of place. In this format, architecture becomes the bi-product of a cunning agenda. There is a commitment to creating complete artificiality. Object composition, minutely detailed ornamentation and perfectly synchronised colours construct a space of deliberateness and theatricality. In the words of Keller Easterling, these constructions are deceptive spatial products imbued by myth, desire and symbolic means of capital. They are hilarious and dangerous, satisfying and perverse masquerades of retail, tourism, business and trade, and, it is these precisely curated synthetic universes that erase any clear distinction between the real, the imagined and the virtual world.
The term resort is most commonly used to describe a hotel property that provides an array of amenities outside of accommodation, typically entertainment and recreational activities. Resort attraction oscillates between destination and interest, resort-goers between consumers and clients. Facilities are of exceptional standard. Guests have no need to leave the premises throughout their stay. Consequently, we begin to uncover the necessity for the construction of artificiality and excess – why aestheticization and stylization is ostentatious and deliberate, why white swans float across the turquoise waves of the pink Walt Disney World Swan Hotel rooftop. Students will be asked to design a perfectly ordered, perfectly detailed, perfectly decorated “ResortLand” that is perfectly aware of the act of its creation. Its performance and design will service the desire of the vacationer. The spatial products will be a perversion of experience in the extreme.
The OPT is a public cruise ship and ocean liner port of entry located on the western edge waterfront of Sydney Cove at Circular Quay. Its location on the water’s edge delivers an unobstructed view of Sydney’s postcard icons – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. It is a site that exists between sites – a space that inhabits the threshold between ocean, ship, port and city and it exists both inside and outside of the city’s jurisdiction. Students will be required to manipulate and transform the OPT into entertainment and/or recreational facilities that service international cruise ships. Students will respond to and exploit the notion of “destination” as attractor and cater for select and/or specialized clientele, operating between extremes – the personal and the extravagant.