Behind the Scenes
Kevin Barbee has over 30 years of experience in master planning and designing theme parks, attractions, and mixed-use destinations, with built projects of up to US$1.7 billion in magnitude. With personality and humor, Kevin leads culturally diverse, multi-disciplinary design teams achieving innovative design solutions on complex entertainment projects. Most recently, as Senior Vice President and Chief Creative officer of IRMS, Kevin led multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural design teams creating Theme Parks, Attractions, Rides, Cruise Ships, and Integrated Resort destinations.
His record of accomplishment includes completed projects in the United States, Japan, Singapore, Macau, Australia, Korea, Brazil, Malaysia, and China. This demonstrable record shows success in meeting the particular design needs of various cultures world-wide.
Universal Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Studios, Warner Brothers, DC Comics, Hello Kitty, Peanuts, and Sesame Street are a few of the world’s leading entertainment brands that Kevin has worked with successfully to bring their characters and storylines to life. Korea’s Everland, Universal Studios Japan, Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, Australia’s Dreamworld, Splendid China, Suzhou Amusement Land, Resorts World Genting, Beto Carrero World, Genting Hong Kong, and MCC China have relied on Kevin to provide creativity, design, and operational expertise to create new theme parks or improve existing properties.
During his tenure with Universal, Kevin led the original show design team and established the on-site design teams for Universal Studios Japan and led the design and on-site art direction for Universal Studios Singapore. At Six Flags, Kevin introduced Superman, Batman, and the waterpark Hurricane Harbor to Magic Mountain. And in the world of retail design, Kevin provided design services with Duty Free Stores, the Grand Canal Shops for The Venetian Macau (with RTKL), and HMSHost.
His formative early years in the design profession were spent with the illustrious firms The Jerde Partnership and RTKL where he used old fashioned tools such as an airbrush, a fax machine, and parallel rule to create master plans for large-scale, mixed-use projects, drawing ink-on-mylar sections, writing countless storefront and interior design criteria, and environmental graphic design programs.
Kevin sold hot dogs and Coca Cola at Disneyland to pay his way through college. Now an expert on experiential design, environmental branding, ride design, theme park planning, and creativity, Kevin is an architect and holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design.
DESIGN | ENTERTAIN | INSPIRE
Past Projects form the Foundation for Future Creativity
I’ve spent my career, whether in theme parks or architecture, trying to bring a bit of delight into people's lives. From the smallest sign to the largest facade or spectacular experience, I study how to imbue all elements with a sense of entertainment, to make the minutiae extraordinary so that the end result with magnetically draw guests, sell tickets, and be so rich in detail, that guests will return repeatedly to feel that sense of delight and wonder that is the theme park experience.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE
Kevin and team did the impossible, planned, designed, built and opened a US$1.2 billion world-class theme park in 36 months! Universal Studios Singapore is in the world's top 25 theme parks, featuring 24 attractions, 12 of which are entirely new, including the world’s first Sesame Street dark ride and world’s first DreamWorks branded family thrill ride
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
As a senior member of the original design and site construction team, Kevin led the development of design documentation and in-field art direction for this US$1.7 billion theme park, one of the world's top-ten most attended parks, as well as the Universal Wonderland renovation.
THEME PARK RENOVATION
Kevin has worked with Everland, Universal Studios Japan and Singapore, Beto Carrero World, Dreamworld, Splendid China, Resorts World Jeju, Resorts World Genting, and other organizations to help develop, grow, and bring character(s) to their properties, as well as improve repeat visitation.
Creating a "reason to visit" is required for every development to survive. Kevin specializes in analyzing the current situation, developing a target attraction strategy to get noticed, one that sells tickets, and generates repeat visits. Over 59 million visitors a year can't be wrong! Get a WOW destination!
Kevin Barbee is available to clients who appreciate nuance, quality, and smiles.
BREADTH AND DEPTH
Comprehensive Experience in All Aspects of Theme Park Design & Development
The key to developing world-class attractions is to create a master plan that is imbued with the spatial arrangement required for success. Not only must the space be allocated properly, the program elements strategically created, but the art of planning a "cinematic journey" through the property must be woven through every zone to maximize the economic potential of the site.
WORKING WITH FILM BRANDS
In 30+ years of entertainment design, I have had the honor of working with Hollywood's great major movie studios, such as Paramount, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, and of course Universal Studios, and others. We collaborated to create theme park attractions for Jurassic Park, Terminator, Sesame Street, Batman, Jaws, The Mummy, WaterWorld, and media brands.
WORKING WITH CHARACTERS
No theme park would be complete without a family of branded characters to greet guests. I have had the pleasure of creating environments for many famous characters to come to life. Looney Tunes, DreamWorks, DC Comics, Larva, Rotary Park, Sesame Street, Paramount Studios, Hello Kitty, and Peanuts to name a few. Characters build loyalty and increase revenue.
Through my years in both theme parks and mixed-use architecture, I learned that the position of elements is just as critical as the elements themselves in generating revenue. I work at every phase to ensure that critical key concepts for maximizing potential revenue are maintained forl the long-term success of entertainment projects. Without a revenue-savvy plan, there will be no prosperous future.