DESIGN EXPERIMENTS - 2020/1

Module code: THE3035

Module Overview

This module serves as an introduction to the conceptual and practical concerns of scenography. Principally, this is focused around a series of seminar discussions and practical workshops that deal with the role of design in/and/as performance. The module is designed to allow students to experiment with how the spatial and material aspects of performance work, both in support of a production and how they affect a participant-spectator. The module is centred on a number of workshops that aim to structure your experiments into scenography. These workshops focus can focus on any number of methods inclusive of stage architecture, sound, lighting, costume, projection and digital design. The students understanding of these tasks will be evidenced though presentations shared as part of the weekly sessions. Students will also receive feedback on their progress through the module and how they engaged with the material.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

HANN Rachel (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: W440

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Indicative content:

• Practical workshops on design-led performance making.

• Investigate the overlaps between scenography, choreography and dramaturgy.

• Consider design methods and experimental practices beyond theatre and performance, such as experience design, tourism or event management.

• Fringe theatre methods for creating inexpensive scenographic environments.

• Analyse multi-sensory approaches to design inclusive of practices from theatre, installation art, architecture and visual mechanising.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Exhibition 100

Alternative Assessment

Individual Portfolio

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to be able to create a clear context of an enquiry in both current professional practice and academic thinking and demonstrate how this has affected the students’ knowledge and understanding; to interpret and analyse disciplinary / cross disciplinary frameworks that surround design and engage creatively and critically with this analysis through differing modes of enquiry (theory – design – practice); and develop ideas over a sustained period of time, responding to class feedback and have the capacity to construct cross disciplinary arguments both verbally and in writing.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of an exhibition, undertaken either in groups or individually, that aims to investigate and propose an approach to design experimentation. The exhibition format encourages the students to be creative in how objects, materials and technologies can communicate ideas alongside concise textual statements. The focus of the exhibition is on developing and refining a creative vision that articulates the groups influences, argument and research through a practical element (e.g. a poster, a video, an installation, an audio track or other use of creative media). As such, the group exhibition addresses all three learning outcomes and is representative of 100% of the grade for the module.

Further support for the final assessments will either be provided through developmental workshops, one-to-one or small group tutorials, and/or in-class feedback - depending on the module tutor. Using the exhibition format, the students should evidence:

• Presentation of a distinct theoretical position concerning an understanding of the critical potential of scenography.

• Evidence that relevant practitioners and/or theorists that relate to the stated position have been considered. • Clear organisation of the relevant information, as appropriate for the submitted format (exhibition, portfolio etc.).

• Where relevant, engaging usage of the particular creative medium or mode of presentation employed.

The format and length of the group exhibition will be negotiated with the module leader in relationship to available resources and timeframes. All citations from academic texts that students use in their exhibitions must be referenced according to the rules of the Harvard system. A bibliography must therefore be provided as an appendix to your exhibition, laid out according to the Harvard system.

Formative assessment

In preparation for the summative assessment exercise, students will present in their groups research into a specific theatre design technique. The broader aims of these formative presentations are to ensure that the students:

• Successfully critique a theory or concept that underpins the project

• Can analyse current practitioners working in a creative arts field that uses these ideas / theories or could be seen as doing so

• Be able to demonstrate the link between theory, design and practice.

The exact format of these presentations is at the discretion of the module leader and may include a ‘flash talk’ or ‘PechaKucha’-type model.

Module aims

  • To encourage student centred research to generate a clear context for an enquiry
  • To develop critical models using scenographic methods and concepts as drivers for enquiry
  • To rigorously apply theoretical frameworks that may lie outside of the students’ core discipline

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
001 To be able to create a clear context of an enquiry in both current professional practice and academic thinking and demonstrate how this has affected the students' knowledge and understanding. CK
002 To interpret and analyse disciplinary / cross disciplinary frameworks that surround design and engage creatively and critically with this analysis through differing modes of enquiry CKT
003 Develop experimental ideas responding to feedback and have the capacity to construct cross disciplinary arguments both verbally and in practice KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 22

Independent Study Hours: 128

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Indicative content:

• Practical workshops on design-led performance making.

• Investigate the overlaps between scenography, choreography and dramaturgy.

• Consider design methods and experimental practices beyond theatre and performance, such as experience design, tourism or event management.

• Fringe theatre methods for creating inexpensive scenographic environments.

• Analyse multi-sensory approaches to design inclusive of practices from theatre, installation art, architecture and visual mechanising.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for DESIGN EXPERIMENTS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/the3035

Other information

Under the three term structure that commences from academic year 2019/0 – this module’s delivery falls in Semester 2 due to the teaching occurring in Teaching Block 3.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Dance with Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.