Space Design Sub-commission

2019 Space Design Meeting Minutes

Jun 14, 2019


  1. Updates and announcements and calls for idea/discussion of proposals.
  2. Workgroup time to discuss ideas and projects for sub-commission
  3. Assignment of project leaders to encourage pursuit of projects and development of ideas.

Opening Remarks:

Co-Chairs of the Space Sub-Commission Fiona Watt (GBR) & Rob Eastman-Mullins (USA) opened the meeting with introductions, a detailing of the meeting’s agenda and a description this the newly formed sub-commission for new members, and continued with a round of introductions from the group.

Announcements Updates and Calls

  1. Rob Eastman Mullins (USA) spoke on ideas of communication and continued discussion outside in person meetings as well as the possibility of creating smaller meetings with the understanding that not all members may be able to attend every in person meetings.
  2. A Single, large touch stone meetings would still be a priority once a year with the possibility of at least one small meeting in person a year. PQ and World Stage Design still provide excellent venues, however other options are possible for the years in between and other smaller meetings are possible and encouraged.
  3. Virtual Meetings were discussed and suggested, particularly as a new commission to start discussion and invigorate new projects. Rob proposed we attempt to aim for a Virtual Meeting every 3 months, in an attempt to establish and test the validity of this concept and begin discussion. It was acknowledged that variable times should be chosen for different time zone considerations and that there is no expectation that we make every meeting, but to allow us an opportunity for live interactions as we attempt to coordinate ideas for projects moving forward.
  4. April Viczko (CAN) discussed the World Stage Design upcoming open call in October and will be open for a considerable amount of time. All submissions are welcome and the committee is looking for help particularly from all the Commissions and Sub-Commissions for assistance in moving forward with programing options.
  5. The dates for future large in person meetings were presented and discussed in a timeline, including the World Stage Design Expo in Calgary 2021, and the next Prague Quadrennial in 2023. Other suggestions and topics for discussion on locations (particularly for the year 2020, and for 2024 are welcome)

    a. On the subject of Meeting possibilities it was mentioned that the Architecture Sub-Commission will be meeting in January of 2020 in Cuba

    b. SvoboDays is in Jan-December of 2020 as an available choice more information to come.

    c. A student and faculty driven festival in Beijing to celebrate student work. This also includes workshops. In about a year you will hear a call for this this year. You are primarily responsible for getting there but will assist in housing food, campus resources and tourist opportunities, a visa to visit will be needed. It will be in November of 2020.

    d. March 2020, International summit on theatre design training. Massive discussion with international training for teachers. Several keynote. In Shanghai.


 Group Discussions:

The members split into randomly assigned groups at 14:31, and convened at 15:00 to discuss the project ideas that were discovered in independent discussion. (Picture 1 of notes from this conversation below)

Group 1: Monique Corbeil (CAN) spoke for the group about ideas discussed in the breakout meeting. Their discussion focused on indigenous storytelling. Travel, space, mapping, migration, passage of culture, exhibit the past with storytelling. Hazem Shebl (Egypt) spoke about the possibility of having a meeting in Egypt at their conference, and expressed an interest in October 2020. Arb Europe Mediterranean Scenography Forum

Group 2: Eufrasio Lucena-Muñoz (Spain) spoke for the group on the items of discussion What will we do in Calgary 2021. They were very interested in engaging children, museums and public spaces with low impact solutions. Reduce, reuse and recycle. The use of one’s imagination was a key of the discussion. Children often create in their space and translate that into a world for them in nature. Incorporate appreciation for the environment and provide adults with the opportunity to play.

Group 3 Illka Louw (South Africa) spoke for this group discussed the pillars of WSD, discussed possibilities between the train station and the location and creating art in the journey. Perhaps in connection with desire lines, geo-caching, or history in the space with augmented reality. Exchange as a theme. Like the idea of using fabrics in order to have malleable space. Also discussed the idea of fabric, texture and sound of fabric together in discussion.

Group 4: Adam (USA) spoke for the group and conveyed the offer of Casey Kearns (USA) to help find a meeting place as USITT’s Houston for meeting March 2020. Reported group discussions on Indigenous ways of knowing is not limited to colonial cultures. Parallels in indigenous cultures around the world. Realities are the ideas of identity.

We would like to see more about process and to learn and explore new conversations on the projects that are shared. How do we produce knowledge with scenography. Post-secondary institutions of learning generate reading lists. Would love to debate a reading list from us (SpDSC) to, Performance Design, WSD, PQ, USITT, etc. are all different in their function.

Group 5: Jennifer Ivey (USA) spoke for the group about the key topics from the ideas of Reality and Eco-Scenography. The group expressed an interest in a recycles scenic space that performers could engage in at World Stage Design as a workshop, and/or expertise in Collaboration and exploration in space together. Working toward the idea of reality could also include a workshop on smaller scale puppet scenery as a workshop in the festival or translating/transforming scale. One option through photographs of small models and spaces projected into a space to be larger, or using scale model figures around real object to make them change context. The Venice Biennale was also brought up as a possibility for a meeting spot for the Space Sub-Commission.

Discussion continued
Interesting points of discussion came from the group discussions. April Viczko (CAN) Discussed coordination with the sustainable theatre project and call for proposals to implement in this project and discussed a desire for a project we leave a legacy behind, might be an avenue that we implement some of the eco-scenography interests from the group discussions.

Abby brought up the idea of Discussion of the sensitively to indigenous people and the knowledge of that in discussion. April mentioned they are traversing this with expert consultants.

Project Assignment

In the interest of keeping focus on projects and encouraging individuals to participate project facilitators were asked to Volunteer.

Meeting Proposal:

Rob discussed a Space Design meeting for 2022 as a participation in a conference at Wake Forest, North Carolina in the USA. He is interested in putting forward on his campus a common design project which would culminate in a space design exhibit and presentation of a realized design which would be created from an international design team. Eco design, reusable, recycle able design prompts were suggested by the group to be considered for the criteria of design selection. This would occur sometime in September to December of 2022 (“Fall Semester”) as it will align with Wake-Forest universities realized production of the common design project. Group consensus was that this would be a worthwhile endeavor and that Rob should attempt to proceed.

Meeting was closed at 16:00 by Rob and Fiona, with an encouragement to continue discussions independently.

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