Entrance Plaza

Entries by Joshua L Harris (145)


Constructing Tomorrow #10

30 days before opening of the “Newest Wonder of the World,” The EPCOT Center News Briefs provided daily progress reports for the many facets in bringing 21st Century to life in 1982.

Click the News Brief to go indepth into the latest installment of Constructing Tomorrow.


Try to Imagine . . .


Vista Series - Bioluminescence

From its remarkably complex curvilinear exterior to its “incredible voyage of the discovery”, The Living Seas Vista pays tribute to the architecture and effects of what was once “the world’s sixth largest ocean”.  For this edition, defused light rays and water caustics symbolize the remarkable journey from the surface to the depths that welcome us to Sea Base Alpha. 

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Designer’s Note: After almost a year hiatus, The Vista Series returns with what will probably be the single most complex line-art for all of Epcot’s 22 pavilions. The Living Seas architecture (just like all other original pavilions) abstractly conveys the theme of the pavilion. In this case, it appears to be constructed entirely of waves frozen into a state of structural rigidity — no easy task for any architect. Nor was it easy for to translate its highly sculptural three-dimensional forms into a strictly 2D format. This process that was especially difficult when one considers that all components of its design flow seamlessly into each other making it particularly challenging to complete a single shape without first considering all others.
Although the structure rightly received most of its accolades for its interior engineering, the exterior is no less impressive and after this experience I have even more respect for the designers and architects at WDI and Montgomery Watson for what they were able to achieve nearly 30 years ago.


Gateway Gifts

One of the quainter shops in Future World, Gateway Gifts more than makes-up for its miniscule Square Footage with its location — in both architecture and proximity. If one can look past the merchandise, Gateway Gifts possesses intriguing design. From its multi-level future-industrial ceiling treatments to its impressive view of the geosphere it supports, the shop itself is a subtle but prime example EPCOT Center’s unique architectural achievements.

What is not subtle is Gateway Gifts custom carpet. Installed in the 1990’s (probably to focus the eye downward towards the purpose of the shop), even this element echoes the geodesic structure of Spaceship Earth in a uniquely subversive manner. 

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Designer’s Note: I know your probably thinking that I’ve spent a little too much time looking at walls and floors lately and I’ll be the first to agree with you. But, I always try to design things that fulfill more than one purpose at a time, and this Texture has a lot to do with the new section of E82 opening just after the beginning of next year.

In any case, I should transition from the mundane to the miraculous aspects of Epcot soon!     


Kinetic Mosaic 

Although its narrative is decidedly petroleum centric, the entire Universe of Energy pavilion itself stands in tribute the Sun. Everything from its shape to its position and even its color scheme reinforces the theme of power from the sun.

Perhaps the most impressive and powerful example of Energy’s theme is the magnificent mural that welcomes us into the pavilion. This stunning piece of art is (in many ways) a perfect blending of art, science and technology. Executed in an Old World mosaic style that prophetically foreshadows 8-bit computer image design, the mural is a depiction of our Sun as seen through the lens of thermographic camera. But far from a merely scientific representation this mural subtly illustrates both our scale and relationship to our mother star. For just outside the reach of its deadly rays, the Earth, as represented by the infinitesimally small white dot on the far right, demonstrates its perfectly positioned orbit that simultaneously protects us and allows us to thrive on its power. 

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Designer’s Note: This desktop holds the record for the longest gestation period of any of E82’s projects. Initially began in March of 2010, the mural was completely documented in vector form piece with the aid of over 30 source photos resulting in an over 99% accurate re-creation in digital space. The mural was completed several months later, but due its complexity and narrow aspect ratio the asset sat unused for 2 years afterward.

In no way a definitive depiction its just today’s best efforts to display what is a very wide mural in a (still wide but nevertheless) much more narrow canvas.                        

If anyone is interested in a close-up (Texture Series edition) of this mural please let me know.