DIVERSE&
INNOVATIVE DESIGN
FOR
RESORTS&
ATTRACTIONS&
MUSEUMS&
EXHIBITIONS.

Taft Design + Associates (TDA) is a specialty international design studio with over 25 years of experience. TDA is committed to providing our clients in the entertainment, cultural, and educational industries with engaging, innovative, and effective solutions for all their project needs.

Headquartered in Pasadena, California USA, our flexible studio structure consists of dynamic and experienced core team members who can provide the best talent from the fields of conceptual design and development, multi-media production, environmental and communication graphics, and design management to accomplish your project goals expertly and on time.

Services Include: Conceptual Master Planning, Themed Concept Architecture, Exhibition Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Creative Writing, Multimedia


Geoff Woodward

Geoff Woodward

President & Founder

Geoff founded Taft Design + Associates in 1990 to provide experienced design services for the entertainment, cultural, and educational industries. He has lead the firm in creating innovative and immersive experiences for multi-million dollar themed entertainment projects and recreational property developments. His diverse group of clients includes the Walt Disney Company worldwide, Warner Brothers, Mitsubishi Corporation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Turning Stone Resort & Casino.

Geoff began his career with Walt Disney Imagineering as a set designer, which lead to becoming a creative producer and project manager on key resorts including Disneyland Paris, EPCOT Center, Tokyo DisneySea, and Disneyland California. His experience with Disney has given him a firm grounding in the principles and practicalities of themed design from concept through construction, including scheduling, budgeting, and resource allocation.

One of his current key projects is providing support for the creative development and implementation of the Shanghai Disney Resort. Geoff is the on-site creative producer for Mickey Avenue and Gardens of Imagination. He ensures that high standards are maintained for creative delivery and the integration of all show and construction elements, which has reinforced his well-respected reputation for producing world-class projects internationally.

Born and raised in California, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from Humboldt State University.

Doris Hardoon

Doris Hardoon

Principal & Executive
Vice President Creative

Doris has earned an international reputation for the sophisticated design sensibility she has brought to a wide variety of entertainment and educational experiences. As the creative executive, she provides clear collaborative direction to the diverse range of projects that Taft Design has been involved with.

Doris began her illustrious career 36 years ago with Walt Disney Imagineering as a designer and artist for EPCOT Center. Her unique design style and perspective quickly made her one of very few well-respected female creative executives leading world-wide Disney projects. Her impressive portfolio includes many Disney parks and resorts including WESTCOT Center, Hong Kong Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and currently Shanghai Disney Resort, where she conceived an alternative approach to classic Disney attractions for a new Land named Gardens of Imagination. It was also for Shanghai Disney Resort that she envisioned, designed and developed a unique one-of-a-kind retail, dining, and entertainment district concept called Disneytown. Additionally, her passion for culture, education and the arts has benefited several major exhibitions and museums, including the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and Jerusalem, and the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore.

Of Eurasian descent and born in Hong Kong, Doris earned a Bachelor's degree in fine arts with honors from the California College of the Arts.

Rob Ball

Rob Ball

Designer & Design Educator

Rob is a spatial experience designer and design educator. His interest in collections-based and branded exhibits and environments have given him expertise in a wide variety of 3-dimensional projects over a career of 30 years. He is passionate about spaces and believes that the spatial environment can be a powerful vehicle for delivering core messages targeted to educational content for the commercial market.

A well-respected professional in the design industry, he has taught the principles of environment as experience for 25 years at the Art Center College of Design where he is a professor in the Environmental Design Department. He’s committed to engaging students in a world that provides context and meaning for their creative exploration and scenario-driven environments.

Rob is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design, with a degree in environmental and industrial design, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in fine arts and art history.

James Barkley

James Barkley

Designer

Working in diverse design disciplines from museum exhibitions and environmental graphics to product creation and book production, James brings his exceptional talent and extensive background to all his projects, immersing himself in every detail with passion and a commitment to excellence.

During his illustrious career, James has collaborated on a variety of groundbreaking projects, including the creation of innovative exhibits for IBM, the Hong Kong Science Museum, and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics torch design. Among his many other accomplishments, James has a long history of designing for Disney, and lead environmental graphics teams in creating themed identification signage for multiple attractions for Discoveryland in Disneyland Paris. Most recently, he provided the branding and environmental graphics for Shanghai Disney Resort’s Disneytown, a unique retail, dining, and entertainment experience.

James received his early training at the University of Southern California's School of Architecture and Fine Arts, and is a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Soo Lee

Soo Lee

Designer

Soo Lee is an artist and design professional with experience across a broad range of entertainment venues—attractions, museums, brand environments, live entertainment, retail and theme parks. She is passionate and dedicated on telling a story with a sense of aesthetics and originality. 

A design project manager at Mattel, she has also worked for Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Creative. Specialized in concept design, art direction and design development she has been creating memorable guest experiences for the last ten years. Her artwork has a diverse range from a traditional medium to 3 dimensional artwork that brings the story’s themes and key moments to life. 

Soo Lee is a graduate of University of California, Irvine in Scenic Design with a Master of Fine Arts degree in scenic design. She also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental and Industrial Design at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea where she was born and raised.

Jason Scheier

Jason Scheier

Illustrator & Design Instructor

Jason is a conceptual illustrator and design instructor. His lifelong enthusiasm for narrative storytelling, visual development, and picture making informs all his professional experiences. He is a keen observer of both the natural world and the man-made world, always attempting to reverse engineer the fantastic details.

Jason brings his strong instincts for design, composition, color, and lighting and his experience in cinematography to his passion for virtual environment creation. He has worked with a number of studios including DreamWorks Animation SKG, Warner Brothers Feature Animation, Digital Illustrations Creative Entertainment, and Walt Disney Imagineering. He has also taught at the Art Center College of Design, Brainstorm School, Concept Design Academy, Laguna College of Art and Design, and Computer Graphics Masters Academy.

A graduate of California State, Fullerton, with a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts and illustration, he also studied media arts and animation at the Art Institute of California and entertainment design at the Art Center College of Design.

Frederica Templeton

Frederica Templeton

Communications & Development

Frederica Templeton has been working in the fields of communications, education, and philanthropy for over 25 years, as a freelance writer, and as a senior communications and development officer for an independent educational institution. Capturing the essence of every client's vision with skilled but simple words is her primary goal. 

As a trained historian, she has a keen interest in communicating and preserving the unique voices and stories of the past and present for future generations. She has collaborated on several cultural and historical projects that have involved immersive storytelling and integration of academic details. As a writer and editor for major national and regional publications, she has written articles on a variety of topics including historic buildings, interesting people, and sustainable food.

She received a bachelor's degree in European history and art history from Trinity University in Washington, DC, and master's degree in history from the University of Notre Dame. 

Tom Thordarson

Tom Thordarson

Designer

Tom is a highly diversified concept designer, illustrator, art director, and creative executive with over 30 years of experience in themed entertainment.

His career began before graduating from college, as a sketch artist and concept designer for Universal Studios. He went on to work as a Disney Imagineer and a Universal Studios executive designer. He conceptualized the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride for Tokyo DisneySea, Japan, and the Water World Live Action Stunt Show for Universal Studios, Hollywood, among many other accomplishments.

Tom continues to bring his charisma and storytelling visualization experience to the entertainment industry. His painting and prints of tropical fantasies and Hawaiian culture are collected by many followers of his work worldwide who know him as "Thor."

He is an honors graduate of Art Center College of Design in Illustration, where he has also taught entertainment design.

Annie Tong

Annie Tong

Graphic Artist

Annie Tong is a well-respected graphic artist who is known for her bold and innovative designs for large-scale visual communications projects in the hospitality industry and in community public works.

Over 35 years of experience as a creative director overseeing branding, visual identity systems, architectural graphics and signage programs in Hong Kong, China and throughout Asia, Annie brings her powerful imagination and passion to all her projects. Her attention to detail and resourceful ability to design in context and in cooperation with the environment has earned her a stellar international reputation.

She received her bachelor of fine arts degree from California College of Arts.

James Wassell

James Wassell

Designer

James combines his talent as an artist and illustrator with his architectural training to provide concept design and presentation skills in architecture, planning, exhibit design, and resort and entertainment design. He believes in designing sustainable environments that foster community and well-being and exhibits that are immersive environments that encourage the viewer to explore and make new discoveries.

During his early career, James was a senior concept designer for Walt Disney Imagineering and a director of environmental design for Sony Development. Over the past 15 years he has participated in numerous design charrettes with the celebrated town planning firm Duany Plater Zyberk, and his work has been exhibited and recognized nationally. He has also designed for the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, the Denver Museum of Art, Nomura Bank, DaimlerChrysler, SFX Entertainment Group, Rockwell Group, Gwathmey Siegel Architects, and Newman Architects.

He received a master's of fine arts degree in painting from Syracuse University where a University Fellowship allowed him to pursue his parallel interest in architecture.