Joe Rohde enjoyed a 40 year career with Walt Disney Imagineering, the branch of the Disney Company that designs and builds physical environments and experiences. During that time he was a pivotal figure in the development of a series of projects that dealt with natural history, culture, and the environment. His work for Disney includes Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a wildlife conservation themed park in Florida, Aulani: A Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii, which focuses on indigenous Hawaiian art and philosophy as the thematic underpinnings of the guest experience, Villages Nature, an eco-resort adjacent to Disneyland Paris which seeks to make sustainability a romantic ideal, as well as many other projects. He was instrumental in the creation of the Disney Conservation Fund, which has raised over $150 million for projects worldwide.
Joe is also featured on numerous documentaries covering the Disney Company, and in his own documentary, The Leopard in the Land, which chronicles an artistic wildlife conservation expedition fundraiser through Mongolia.
He currently consults for select projects through his company, Joe Rohde Creative, LLC. Virgin Galactic has engaged him as Chief Experience Architect in the development of their space tourism business. He is also working with Jane Goodall on designs for an experience center in Tanzania.
Joe regularly lectures on design, art history, and conservation and has spoken at TED, NASA, SIGGRAPH, and many other venues, focusing on the relationship between narrative structure, team organization, and how this combination can be leveraged to maximize creativity and unique output in the context of large ensemble projects.
He is a member of the Explorer’s Club, and has traveled extensively in some of the most remote regions of the world, often creating art along the way. Joe regularly uses his artwork as a fundraising and awareness raising tool for cultural and environmental causes.