Corinne Wahlberg, 27 January 2013

So, this session started with the following questions: How can we use new ideas in

architecture and design to build better theater venues? What do theatre companies

need? What is helpful to have at a venue? How can we design theatre venues that

require less infrastructure costs for shows?

What came out of the session was a lot of different things. For one, we talked about

how we interact with space both as artists and audience members. We discussed

projects that have been launched by Shunt, such as their London Bridge Tunnels

project where they used both space and build infrastructure to morph and change to

allow the space to be used differently. This then created new revenue streams, like a

bar or a music space.

I asked, is this a sustainable model? Most would say, yes!

So, My idea is to create a space using life edited architectural design. An adaptable

space that changes. If a studio apartment can morph seamlessly from one room to

another, why can't a theater?

It's important to point out…NOT A BLACK BOX. We talked about whether black box

spaces were helpful. In the end, they just delineate performance space. While it's

adaptable, the cost of building infrastructure to create the world can be enormous.

Talked to a producer from the BAC about this exact problem at their venue.

So, let's talk about what it can morph into so that it is as usable as possible? Some

ideas were a cafe, a bar, a hall, black box, playground, offices, event space…

Food and drink were a big part of the conversation. Theaters should have food and

drink because it helps create community and helps make the audience feel more like a

guest. In fact, that's the best way to put my project…a community space. We're in it to

create community.

What would the space actually look like? We don't know! But we did come up with

some buzz words:













One important question came up…WHY? What is the purpose? It's clever, but why

would it be appealing to artists and audience members?

-Adaptable structure means that a theater company could create a piece with more

flexibility and less infrastructure costs

-Space can go from performance space to bar in minutes?!

-Space can adapt quickly and change often, making it exciting each and every time

you come for an event, show, meeting, bar night

…maybe we use the 9 principles of good design?

Some examples of what people are doing now. We talked about Bootleg in Los

Angeles, The Yard in London, and Bacchanal in New Orleans. We also had someone

pop by and talk about an architectural exhibit in Madrid, but he couldn't remember the

name of it. Anyone else have a clue? Please share! There's also a TED talk (see about a

large scale vision. I would like to think more small scale if I can.

Lastly…where's the money for a project like this? It's expensive to build! In the US, I

was encouraged to explore foundations as well as the National Endowment for the

Arts and city programs but most likely…this is a private investment project. I learned

that Arts Council England doesn't like to fund buildings but Heritage Lottery Fund

would be interested if you were saving a building.

If you want to learn more about my dreams, ask me about Stray Dog Cafe. If you have

ideas on how to make venues better, I'm excited to here more!


foundations, communitiy, development, Development, Venues, architecture,

Innovation, Funding, funding, venues, new theatres, revenue streams, innovation,