Theatre & Film Production Design students collaborate both with Interior Design, and with Theatre & Performance Practice, and Theatre & Film students: this offers a combination of design studio riguor, and live, action-based learning where concepts must become reality. We highlight here the work of three students working and exploring both conceptually and physically.
Layla Brady explores three conceptual ideas for the same physical Boiler House space under the umbrella of Scenography, Text & Place. Currently a ‘non-performance’ and disused space at the heart of the Holloway Campus, additional concepts from both Alice & Reka expand on the possibilities this potential venue might offer to current and future students
Scenography, Text, and Place explores how design reflects differing ways of interpreting forms of text in theatre and film practice. It draws on analytical research and performance design skills in relation to differing design contexts. In addition, it specifically broadens the notion of theatre and film texts – going beyond the theatrical or filmic script to explore other forms of text as stimuli: letters, diaries, factual articles, found fragments, poems.
Students are encouraged to demonstrate conceptual, social, economic values and focus whilst demonstrating the importance of research and development in relation to design. The module investigates specific and often challenging spaces and their perceived audiences, developing an understanding of the relationship between design, text and place.
We explore, through a series of exercises, short, and long projects, approaches to designing for some of these texts in a range of contexts; small scale theatre, film, multimedia or immersive installation; investigating the challenges of different design contexts whilst exploring the complex notion of audience and audience configuration.
In conjunction with Studio 04: Radiate, we took the Holloway campus Boiler House as our space: a twin-roomed, semi-derelict, cavernous, industrial beauty of a space. It is not immediately obvious as a performance space, offering as it does extensive challenges of access, safety, audience management and lack of facilities. But what it does offer is its decayed materiality imbued with echoes of industry and of past voices, multiple levels, great height, – and not a single tip-up velvet seat in sight.
The space offered great scope for imaginative and challenging uses and the results range from staged musical theatre events, evocative film studio shoots, and emotionally charged immersive installations.