Maria Mondloch

Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination

spring 2018 |PROFESSOR CHARLIE OTTE | art director


Performance of Destination Imagination pre-show. Scenic design and art direction: Maria Mondloch. Lighting design: Michaela Baird and Jesse Techentin. Set construction: SCAD SOEA 560 class. Actors (from left): Drew Gripe, Tajinae Turner, Burke Swanson, Alexa Robbins. (Kevin Harris shown in thumbnail on home page)


SCAD asked the Themed Entertainment department to create an immersive pre-show experience for a cross-disciplinary VR project that had been created for prospective students. The project incorporated work from many different majors, including Motion Media, Production Design, Dramatic Writing, Performing Arts, and more. I was brought on as Art Director for the project one week prior to construction beginning. I was tasked with designing the main scenic element and leading the scenic crew.

This was a 3-week project (1 week design, 2 weeks build)

Destination Imagination Concept Rendering, 2018. Revit model and Photoshop paint-over.


Destination Imagination was a simulated flight into space brought to life by Virtual Reality, live actors, and immersive scenic design. Guests entered SCAD’s Mondanaro Theatre and approached the stage, which had been transformed into a high-tech airlock. As they approached, the doors mechanically slid open with a blast of fog as your mission captain exited the cabin to greet the guests - AKA his new crew! After a safety briefing, the guests passed through the airlock doors, donned their space helmets, and blasted off towards the stars.


(Shown above, click through to view slides)

I was brought onto this project fairly last-minute, about one week prior to when major construction was slated to begin. By the time I joined the team as Art Director, the overall dimensions of the set and the sliding door mechanism had already been defined. I was provided with the script, the plans for the set, and some early concept art and was told to transform the plain wall into a convincing sci-fi airlock. I created a few napkin sketches of design ideas for the door and presented them to the design team. After one had been selected, I created a rough sketch of the full wall.

I brought the rough sketch into Revit and created a 3D model of the design. I generated AutoCAD drawings based on this model and sent them to the laser cutter. The next step was assembling this tremendous puzzle that I’d just created! With lots and lots of help from my very dedicated construction crew, we managed to get everything assembled, painted, glued, and foiled, and the show was a tremendous success.

Burke Swanson as Mission Captain Montgomery at SCAD’s Destination Imagination Experience, 2018. Photo by Charlie Otte.