Disney’s Art of Animation Resort’s most magical moment!

On December 7th, 2012 a family checked into Art of Animation resort at Walt Disney World. But what the four young children in this family don’t know is that their dad has just returned from Afghanistan and is surprising them at the resort. After the family checks in they sit on a couch to see the cast members do a flash mob because it’s Disney and at Disney people do things like that. But they’re in for one of the biggest surprises of their lives. Welcome to Disney, we love to make magic.

I was sitting right next to the family while I was recording this video. I’ve never cried so hard in my life. It’s one thing to see videos of military parents surprising their families but it’s a completely different thing to be sitting three feet away from the family when their loved one returns home. It’s truly life changing. 


The Politics of Public Space: Fawwar Square Raises Fundamental Questions About the Identity of Palestinian Refugees

DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) is an architectural collective based in Beit Sahour, Palestine that combines conceptual speculations and pragmatic spatial interventions, along with discourse and collective learning. Aiming to use spatial practice as a form of political intervention, DAAR explores possibilities for the reuse, subversion and profanation of actual structure of domination: from evacuated military bases to the transformation of refugee camps, from uncompleted governmental structures to the remains of destroyed villages. Together with Campus in Camps, an experimental educational program by Al Quds University, DAAR designed and constructed Fawwar Square, a public square in a Palestinian refugee camp in Al Fawwar. The project sought to explore the meaning and political implications of realizing a “public square” in a refugee camp. Public space in this context is almost unheard-of, Michael Kimmelman notes in the New York Times, so “architectural upgrades raise fundamental questions about the Palestinian identity, implying permanence, which refugees here have opposed for generations.” Built as a house without a roof, Fawwar Square embodies the fertile ambiguity between public and private space within the camps and the possibility of reconsidering the refugee identity. DAAR will join over 100 architects, artists, and designers participating in the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial this October. 


We made our own dodj or daar (dodge or dare) game board from the Amazing World of Gumball using leftover dinosaurs from our Mabel juice as game pieces. I had to write goober on my forehead! Surprisingly, the game was super fun following Gumballs rules.

-Zola and Mia