18th June 2015


Backstage Academy and The Society of British Theatre Designers have embarked on a unique projection mapping project for the Prague Quadrennial

Backstage Academy’s BA Visual Production Students have been working with The Society of British Theatre Designers on their Make/Believe showcase at the Prague Quadrennial to create an immersive 270º environmental projection mapping of a room in the Clam-Gallasův Palác. “This has been a great collaborative process with creative and technical dialogue between professional designers, students and projection mapping experts. “We are seeing the work in a completely new way!” remarked Make/Believe curator Kate Burnett.

The showcase of the best of British theatre designers is curated from a selection of productions from the past four years. Make/Believe for the Prague Quadrennial has taken a departure from the traditional model box and drawing showcase by utilizing projection mapping technology.

The students at Backstage have worked for the past six weeks building projection sequences filming and capturing the model boxes and hand drawings in 4K from thirty theatre productions from twenty-two designers.  Course leader Shannon Harvey remarked “This has been a very wonderful process for our students to be involved in. Having access to the remarkable model boxes and hand sketches from some of the world’s best designers was a treasure trove of incredible inspiration. The juxtaposition of taking a historically analogy manual design process and transforming it into an immersive digital canvas was quite extraordinary”

The project has enabled the group of seven BA(Hons) Live Visual Production first year students to play an integral role in producing a ground breaking production while participating in the world’s largest scenographic festival, the Prague Quadrennial. The students have taken on all aspects of the project working through the system design, content workflow, production planning, installation, and commissioning as a part of their course work.

The process of interpreting creative intent into a new type of presentation demanded a very visual and iterative feedback process. The students created sequences, visualized them in d3 and provided videos of what the installation would be like for feedback from the designers. Student Michael Edwards said “working with clients and the designers meant we had real feedback for our work especially our content design. This feedback had so much more meaning than getting a grade for my work”.

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Prague Quadrennial