Mark Fuller, CEO of WET Design, illuminates how to develop a culture where integrated ideas flow freely.
Utah native and University of Utah honors graduate Mark Fuller is the motivating force of WET, the world leader in experiential water feature design and technology. His creative vision is responsible for a new form of performance art, of which the Fountains of Bellagio, The Dubai Fountain and CityCenter Las Vegas are crowning highlights of the company's achievement.
Although Mark received his Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, his time at the University of Utah also included extensive undergraduate study in theater design, as well as courses in physics. With an eye towards a career at Disney, his education in these and other fields inspired and informed his desire to create dramatic visual effects using water and other elements.
Mark wrote his honors undergraduate thesis, which also merited an award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), on "axisymmetric laminar fluid flow." The thesis described the turbulence-free behavior of liquid that results in an arch of molecules flowing so rapidly that they seem motionless. Mark continued studies in water flow in his graduate thesis work in design at Stanford Univeristy.
After graduating from Stanford with Master's Degrees in engineering and product design, he worked in the special effects department for Walt Disney Imagineering for six years where he supervised the creation and implementation of more than 500 special effects and water projects for EPCOT Center and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Perhaps the fountain for which Mark is most famous is the "Leap Frog" in which laminar streams of water several feet long playfully leap from planter to planter. While at Disney, his work led to the opportunity, with Disney's blessing, to execute two fountain designs for Dan Kiley and Peter Ker Walker at Fountain Place in downtown Dallas, Texas. The success of these projects led Mark to leave his work as an Imagineer at Disney to launch his own firm, dedicated exclusively to the engineering and design of water features. To date, Mark's firm has created a new reference for the modern water fountain by changing the nature of water into a vital component in the urban landscape.
Mark co-founded WET in 1983 and holds more than 50 patents on water control, lighting and air compression devices, as well as "laminar" stream technology. He has led the company from its initial complement of seven people to a firm of almost 200, including designers from many disciplines, architects, engineers, scientists, special effects experts, physicists and technicians.
WET has received numerous awards for design, innovation, urban beautification and business including the Images of Universal Design Excellence Project award, co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the World Trade Week Export Achievement Award, and Fast Company magazine's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the design category. Individually, Mark was honored with the University of Utah's Distinguished Alumni Award and the Themed Entertainment Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been featured in newspapers and magazines across the United States, most notably, in The New Yorker, Forbes, Interior Design and Inc. magazines.
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