The former President of Walt Disney Imagineering has been announced as Gensler’s new Global immersive Experience Design Leader.

Bob Weis joins the practice with the intention of creating immersive experiences across commercial and hospitality sectors. The appointment of Weis speaks to Gensler’s plans to create heightened sensory experiences across the globe, characterised by the experiential and unconventional.

Weis began his work with Disney in the 1980s and was involved in the delivery of Tokyo Disney, Shanghai Disney and California Adventure. Weis believes experiential design is not limited to theme parks or attractions, and can be applied to almost any sector.

“Theme parks take a lot of development time. There’s a lot of infrastructure and capital that goes into them. They last a long time, they take a long time to deploy,” he tells Fast Company. 

“(At Gensler) we’re talking about things that want to be very current, that want to be dynamic with the times.”

Weis says he is excited to apply his skillset to a broad range of designs that will be utilised by their occupants on a daily basis.

“I have such gratitude for the projects I worked on at Disney, but I like the idea of bringing these kinds of experiences back closer to where people live, to the cities they live in, in places they go frequently, and in various areas of their life.”

The heightened interest in creating experiential places and spaces for daily use is a clear step forward for the built environment, and one that the world’s largest firms are looking to tap into. Weis will collaborate with Gensler offices across the globe to create unique experiences across entertainment, lifestyle, hospitality, sports, mixed-use, wellness, and commercial sectors.


Image: Gensler