Andrea Carr, 25 January 2015

Present : Andrea Carr (designer/ performance maker, who called the meet up), Jamie Man (composer) and Jim Manganello ( performer/direction).

Interested in the role design could play in the creation of performance, we began by sharing our personal experiences, exploring our ideas through mind maps. Questions were asked about the different ways design could be perceived and function within the creation of a piece of work. From this several well know models were identified.

Mind map models were used to illustrate the hierarchical approach to performance making, using the pyramid design and the ensemble approach using a more circular motif. In the ‘ensemble motif’, the design was more likely to be incorporated earlier on in the rehearsal process, to use in the devising process or to help with issues of access, for instance, when working with visually impaired people. In these models , we identified that perhaps tradition and the needs of the piece had part driven these decisions.

Jamie, who was used to traditional ‘opera’ house hierarchy where people were compartmenalized, had just finished working directly with a scenographer to create a ‘set’ that incorporated sound and could be used as an instrument. This opened up the discussion about clear contacts, knowing what is expected of both parties, and the pleasure of authentic collaboration. Jamie, was also keen that there was ‘friction’ within the relationship, and that she welcomed the designer's feedback on her composition.
Jim, shared a ‘high-lighted’ project for him, collaborating with a team and a sculptor 
whose work they loved. He identified that the process was enhanced by frequent communication, being involved in a ‘full creative partnership’. It became clear that certain qualities were needed to be present in order for the process of an integrated working relationship between design and others.

Andrea who had been involved in a number of different models over the years identified her part in being complicit in perpetuating certain attitudes towards design and feeding into the system.They all agreed things were rapidly changing, more choices existed, new culture was being born.
From all our experiences it seemed to boil down to essential human qualities, trust and the value and honoring of others creative input, The model of ‘Free Full Creative Partnerships,’ seemed to go hand in hand with the increase in smaller intimate venues, the pop up and with less reliance on institutions. DandD was sited, as one such model in action, that embodied the qualities of collaboration, skill sharing, openness, friction, trust, offering a fertile ground for all aspects of the creative process to function. Perhaps making the original question no longer so relevant, though useful to check into.


collaboration, Design, design, Role, Collaboration, role