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Stage Design Project

October 11, 2010

This exercise is about designing a stage for your chosen puppet where it can perform a range of activities. Your designed puppets are not isolated art-objects that are acting against a curtain wall or imprisoned within a framed booth, but must be considered within a surrounding space that is as important as your puppets. You will design the space in which your puppets breathe into and also inhale the qualities of the space. Therefore, after considering certain activities and movements for your puppets such as dancing, walking, flying, climbing, sitting, etc., you are supposed to design their place. Besides correlating the stage setting and your puppet, you should consider the audience as well as the puppeteers with the aim of merging them within a common space design. Your design should finally reflect a new spatial relationship between puppets, your viewers and the puppeteers.

In order to achieve a fresh perspective on the stage design, we will go through the following exercises:

1. Overlapping Surfaces

You will start with re-thinking about the wall or the stage backdrop in terms of planes and surfaces as the organizers of the space. Situating your puppet away from its traditional close relation to the homogenous background, you will experience a variety of other spatial possibilities through working with continuous overlapping surfaces and their reciprocal concealment. The overlapping surfaces with different colors and materials will merge the foreground, middle ground, and background, therefore, integrating the space of the viewer, the puppets and the puppeteers. This exercise begins with abstract drawings following spatial concepts of design that needs to be actualized in stage models with 1″=1′ scale.

2. Porosity

Framing booths and openings are part of puppet shows through which the puppets interact with the viewer and other puppets. The second exercise aims at the porous surfaces and their adjacent voids in-between surfaces that also need to be thought and designed. The process of seeing and being seen takes place within the region of porous screens that renders immateriality and continuity of the space. This exercise also initiates with abstract drawings embodying spatial concepts which are then transformed in to stage models in 1″=1′ scale.

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