Fiona Watt, 26 January 2014

The question was prompted by hearing of Julie's Bicycle's case study of After Miss

Julie on which they collaborated with the creative team at the Young Vic to explore the

sustainability of designing a production using ethically sourced materials.

Director, designer and stage manager were contracted for longer ( up to three weeks

more than usual). Crucially,the production did not cost more money, instead the

money was redistributed -materials were ethically sourced or recycled, people were

paid more.

As far as we know, this was a one off and has not been repeated or shared widely -

why not?

Other contract models such as ITC break the contract down into design fee + weekly

making fee which while a healthy demarkation in many respects may mean that the

only prospect of raising your income from the project is to make stuff.

Producers attending the session rarely meet designers as sole entities or as the first

point of contact in a creative team.

D&D provided us with a great opportunity to allow designers and producers to declare

that we don't know much about each others processes.

Designers felt we are still perceived as being in the traditional role of ‘Wife’ to the


A number of designers attending who also instigate their own projects from scratch.

Independent producers are increasingly becoming the team builders.

Can designers send cvs directly to producers - it seems we can and they would be


At what point in your design career do you have to start saying no?

At what point does a full time design career become unsustainable - the portfolio

enhancing opportunities are no longer enough.

Talking to producers as early as possible to give them a sense of the shape of the

particular collaborative process on a given project.

Seeing the producer and the production manager as key creative collaborators.

As you gain more experience being confident about communicating how you like to

work and what that might entail eg. if what is required is a perfect model box and a set

of drawings, £ 200 model box expenses will be spent on that but if you see the value

of design time as being in the rehearsal room, then most of this money is reallocated

to this time and as a consequence only a sketch model is produced.

Are we at a potential cultural tipping point in being able to raise very low fees by

considering the sustainability model and lobbying for a share of the income generating

by using our work to market the show - what would happen if the designer for

Warhorse said no you can't use my designs to market the show? How viable is a LIVE

screening in a cinema of a theatre show without a visual environment?

We decided that producers and designers like talking to one another and we would

like to do that more. We will be arranging a gathering soon at Clapham Omnibus - new



After Miss Julie, Clapham Omnibus Julie, Collaboration, Sustainability, Producers,

designers, collaboration, Designers, producers, Julie's Bicycle, sustainability