Can You design Without Some Idea of the Budget 

Convener(s): Nick Moran

Participants: Sarah, Simon, Peter, (mid career designers) young designers, including Sarah & Ellan, including recent graduates, and a producer

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

If we stretch the definition of Budget to include other constraints, including venue size, labour costs, truck space etc. then the answer is probably NO.

  • Allow your inspiration to grow first, before thinking about budget too much
  • Keep your collaborations pure and as honest as possible, with the director, other designers, and the producer – who mostly does want to help get your vision on stage
  • And, make good use of every model showing, to sell your ideas to creative, producers and technical teams
  • Find a good, creative production manager, who will be honest with you

And we talked about students in training to be designers – should students be taught to design to a budget? – probably not, but we think its useful for them to be  taught to budget their designs.

  • Too many un-realized projects results in to un-realizable real projects on graduation! (especially for students of lighting design – apparently)
  • Practical projects with low budgets are good learning
  • Finding out where to get stuff for free of very little also very good

Not very profound I know, but we had a good chat, shared some “war stories”, and decided that designers need to talk to each other more about budgets … and other stuff.