Miami U. students named finalists in Disney’s ‘imagineering’ competition

Two Miami University juniors are finalists in the 26th Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition.

Casey Liptak, an interior design major, and Erin Socha, an architecture major, are competing on a team with Sarah Miholer, a junior engineering student at Carnegie Mellon University.

The team was one of six finalists out of the 336 that submitted designs for the competition. The trio is currently on an all-expense-paid trip to Glendale, California to present their designs to Disney Imagineering executives and take part in an awards ceremony on Jan. 27, according to Miami University.

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Teams were challenged to apply the same design principles used in Disney’s theme parks to design spaces that could be created at their own universities.

For their project, called Niihka: A New Tradition, the students designed a year-round outdoor space, according to the university.

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The structure would have heated floors from underground hot water pipes that would heat the space to make it comfortable in winter. Glass panels, lighting and the roof is interactive to show visitors constellations, according to the university.

The students conducted research on the Miami Tribe so the space would reflect Native American culture.


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