Thomas Martin, 27 January 2013

Participants: Keir Cooper, Amelia Bird, Ellen Parry, David Bellwood, Nina Kov, Maria


Session born out of a desire to work collaboratively with designers, and feeling a lack

of space in which to meet those creatives.

Keir's experience of working collaboratively in a performative context came naturally,

as he co-created the project as well as designing the materials for it.

Idea of directors and designers paired in ‘marriages’ - in similar manner to some

director/writer partnerships - two creatives who work consistently well together. Fewer

and fewer set/costume designers taken on as part of buildings now, some relying on

being paired by producers/exec producers of commissioning venues.

Set/costume designers have few chances to mingle, spending a lot of time between

venues or in their studios, as well as considering other designers as potential


Compared with the assistance/training offered to young directors, support for young

designers seems relatively scarce. Where are the networks for designers? Young Vic

has a branch of the Genesis Network, but doesn't seem very developed.

Some events for introducing potentially collaborative artists (of all disciplines) expect

things to happen over a few glasses of wine (and sometimes they do!).

In a more traditional vein: director/designer speed dating nights? And how to organise

them? Important for venues to support young artists, but also important not to

strongarm buildings into awkward situations re: putting people together and not being

able to support further development!

Difficulties shared by choreographers and directors in finding (and keeping!) very

talented collaborators. Differences between finding lighting designer/operators and

artists working in lighting - first traditionally involves collaborating with everything else

going on in the building in which they work!

Strategies for networking discussed: meetups, tweetups, seeing work, emailing,

talking to box office staff, sharing lists (we made a list of designers we knew).


lighting, graphic, sound, projection, artists, Collaboration, costume, video, designers,

networking, set, collaboration