Space Studio

Coordinator: Christina Smith

The focus of Space Studio is the development of both design thinking and dexterity with tools – specifically the generation and articulation of design possibilities through a series of studio based projects. Linking these investigations is the theme of space in performance, which may be explored conceptually, metaphorically, structurally, or technologically – for example through an examination of the designed performance space and the found performance space, the use of scale in space, the potential for space to be ambiguous, the manipulation of space through the use of technology and the relationship of light and space.

Over twelve weeks in a series of studios, using as provocations several performance texts, students examine space and its relationship with the figure, sound and light in performance. As in previous performance design subjects, students are encouraged to think of space as a dramaturgical tool – how space can be used to convey and support meaning in a performance.

The major project of the subject combines learning from the previous three projects in a response to a given text in a given space – in this instance the play Black Medea by Wesley Enoch, an adaptation of the classical Greek drama Medea by Sophocles reinterpreting the story in a contemporary Australian setting. Students were challenged to propose a design for this play within the Grant St Theatre on the VCA Southbank Campus. Whilst focussed on an approach to the space, students are asked to consider those choices with regard to the figure, sound and light.

Image credit: Luyijie Ma - ‘The Desert Story’, Black Medea.

Performance Design 2021_winter