Scenic Design

First Year

Scenic Design I

DESG-GT.1054-1055   Lecture   3 - 6 Credits

Instructor(s): Jones

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

 

Finding visual images, creating physical spaces, and communicating meaning discovered in theatrical literature through personal response to and analysis of text, music, and historical forms.

Set Studio I

DESG-GT.2006   Lecture   2 - 4 Credits

Instructor(s): Banakis

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

 

Introduction to the many and varied techniques available to support the scenic design process for theater and film scenery.  Coursework focuses on scale model-building techniques, drafting techniques, photography and rendering techniques, as well as presentation methodologies. Work overlaps with continued Set Design I coursework as well as weekly class projects providing hands-on experience in each area.

 

Drawing Year 1

DESG-GT.1004-1005   Lecture   2 - 4 Credits

Instructor(s): Young (Section 001), Muller (Section 002)

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.


Section 001: Drawing is observing and perception. This course teaches students how to see. Students learn techniques of observation, perception, and the technical means of placing three-dimensional forms and volume onto a two-dimensional surface accurately and efficiently. 

Section 002: A drawing class for scenic designers and lighting designers that focuses on forms in space, revealed by light. Equal emphasis on drawing from observation and invention.

 

 

Culture, Costume, and Decor

DESG-GT 1022-1023   Lecture   3 Credits

Instructor(s): Muller

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

In this course, students explore the whole history of design, from prehistory to the early 21st century, looking at the impact of human events – migration, war, empire, religion, trade, innovation – on the design of clothing, architecture, and the influence of one age upon another. The course mixes lectures, analysis of images, research projects, discussion, field trips, guest speakers, and student presentations.

CAD Drawing and Visualization

DESG-GT 1006   Studio   2 - 4 Credits

Instructor(s): Banakis

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

 

Tools and techniques of technical drawing and their importance to the stage and film designer, followed by intensive practice in orthographic drawing, including plans, sections, and elevations. Introduction to the Computer-Aided Drafting software and its foundations.  Weekly class projects build on drafting skills and software principles.

 

Explore

DESG-GT 2000-2001   Lecture   2-3 Credits

Instructor(s): Conklin, Geiger, Helfrich, Hoffman

Explore introduces students to a broad range of concepts related to theatrical and cinematic performance and presentation, as well as practical experiences intended to lead students out of their chosen area of study, challenging them to begin to understand design for stage and film as a wholistic, interconnected set of disciplines. It includes workshops, individual design projects, group lectures with guest artists and instructors,  and field trips which will expose students to some of the vast resources available to artists in New York City.

Stagecraft I

DESG-GT.1012   Studio   2 Credits

Instructor(s): Allaire, BairdBanakis 

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.


The primary goal of this course is to supply students with a thorough introductory understanding of the materials, methods, tools, techniques and procedures used in the various shops as we work on realized productions.  Working with the student designers as well as professional shop staff and student staff, students work on a variety of productions, in a range of capacities.

Playreading

DESG-GT.1035  Lecture  1 - 2 Credits

Instructor(s): Helfrich (Section 001)

Only open to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

Play Reading requires students to read and react to a carefully chosen set of scripts over the course of the semester, and to practice formulating and enunciating clear ideas about each script in a class discussion format. Scripts are chosen for individual merits and also, as a collection, to constitute a broad and diverse range of ideas and authors. Students must read each text deeply and be prepared to participate in classroom discussion by formulating a primary response, expressing that response to the group, and responding verbally to a range of other students’ responses as well.

Composers, Choreographers, and Designers

Lecture   2 Credits

Instructor(s): Baird, Chalfant

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

The class combines first-year design students of all disciplines, along with dance students, and musical composition students into creative teams- to create original works of dance and music and design. The teams create a dance piece from the ground up, and then as advisors we evaluate their concepts and assist them to move the pieces into production, culminating in executing the scenic, costumes, and lighting designs and technical execution of all the elements as the choreographers and dancers and musicians assemble and refine the performance aspects.

 

Second Year

Scenic Design II

DESG-GT 1100-1101   Lecture   3 - 6 Credits

Instructor(s): Steinberg

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

To push further as designers, honing observational and dramaturgical skills in order to create rigorous and thoughtful stage design. To strengthen a point of view on stage space and performance, while gaining a deeper understanding of the designer’s role as a collaborative and interpretive artist. To draw upon intuition, intellect, and technique in creating a flexible approach to synthesizing art and craft. To finish all projects in a way that prepares you for the profession.

Model Studio

DESG-GT 2006   Lecture   2 - 4 Credits

Instructor(s): Lord-Surratt

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.


The advanced course builds on skills and techniques learned in Set Studio I class to refine the use of the scale model as a design tool.  Students will practice observing and responding to space through in-person and scale model exploration of theatrical venues and found locations. The course is designed to support projects for Scenic Design II, with an emphasis on the model at the center of the design process. 

 

Drawing Year 2

DESG-GT.1052-1053   Lecture   2 - 4 Credits

Instructor(s): Muller, Zung

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

 

Studio course focusing on technique through seeing, proportion, volume, form, and value through exploration of architecture and period design.

 

 

Opera - Contexts and Cultures

DESG-GT 1038   Lecture   2 Credits

Instructor(s): Conklin

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

A study of opera - it's historical context, formal qualities, dramaturgical content and sociological place in our contemporary world.

Production Year 2

DESG-GT 1120-1121   Lecture   2 Credits

Instructor(s): Chalfant, Hughes, Hoffman

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

Second-year design students work under faculty supervision as assistant designers and designers on realized productions.

Film Collaboration

DESG-GT 1213   Lecture   3 - 4 Credits

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film and in the Graduate Film Department.

Four teams (director, production designer, costume designer, director of photography) collaborate to produce a 10-minute portfolio quality film shot on location with high levels of production values, including locations, props, and costumes. This course underlines the essential aspects of the collaboration process and focuses on the team effort of producing a film.

Playreading

DESG-GT.1035  Lecture  1 - 2 Credits

Instructor(s): Helfrich (Section 001)

Only open to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

Play Reading requires students to read and react to a carefully chosen set of scripts over the course of the semester, and to practice formulating and enunciating clear ideas about each script in a class discussion format. Scripts are chosen for individual merits and also, as a collection, to constitute a broad and diverse range of ideas and authors. Students must read each text deeply and be prepared to participate in classroom discussion by formulating a primary response, expressing that response to the group, and responding verbally to a range of other students’ responses as well.

Film Studio I (Optional)

DESG-GT 1051  Lecture  2 credits

Instructor: Landwehr

Optional with permission / Open to second and third-year students.


This course supports and closely tracks the student’s work in Design for Film I, focusing on drafting, as both a survey practice and design tool, research and collage assembly, model making, storyboards, sketching and other tools and techniques to discover and enable the design process. 

Design for Film I (Optional)

DESG-GT 1214   Lecture   3 - 6 Credits

Instructor(s): Luigs and others

Optional with permission / Open to second and third-year students.

The goal of Film Design I is to gain an understanding of what the elements of film-making are. Students explore all aspects of creating three-dimensional designs for film, including the sculptural, textural, and color components, while paying close attention to camera movement, lighting, and directorial intent. Students also wrestle with Story in order to develop a personal process for taking a text-based design from beginning to end. The overarching goal is to discover tools for turning textual images and metaphors into visual images and metaphors, which will assist students in telling a story visually

Third Year

Scenic Design III

DESG-GT 1210-1211   Lecture   3 - 6 Credits

Instructor(s): Steinberg, Chalfant

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film. 

The emphasis is on synthesizing dramaturgy and research to create three dimensional environments that participate in presenting the text and the work of the director and performers. Expressing cultural, philosophical and emotional ideas through the conduit of Design is at the heart of the process. There are 2 class projects in the fall semester and individual Thesis projects in the Spring.

Transitioning into the Profession

DESG-GT 2002-2003   Lecture   3 Credits

Instructor(s): Cokorinos, Baird

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film. 

Weekly guest speakers are brought in to discuss topics relevant to a professional design career such as theatre photography, union membership, taxes and financial planning, the role of the artistic director and production manager, etc. Portfolio reviews with professional directors and designers are scheduled. 

Production Year 3

DESG-GT 1500-1501   Lecture   2 Credits

Instructor(s): Baird, Geiger, Hoffman, Steinberg

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

Third-year design students work under faculty supervision as designers on realized productions.

Playreading

DESG-GT.1035  Lecture  1 - 2 Credits

Instructor(s): Helfrich (Section 001)

Only open to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film.

Play Reading requires students to read and react to a carefully chosen set of scripts over the course of the semester, and to practice formulating and enunciating clear ideas about each script in a class discussion format. Scripts are chosen for individual merits and also, as a collection, to constitute a broad and diverse range of ideas and authors. Students must read each text deeply and be prepared to participate in classroom discussion by formulating a primary response, expressing that response to the group, and responding verbally to a range of other students’ responses as well.

Public Collaboration

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film. 

Various Faculty

In conjunction with collaborators from the Public Theatre, set, costume and lighting students (primarily in the second year) work in teams. Emphasis is placed on conceptual work conceived through discussion that gives equal weight to all members of the collaboration.

Collaboration

DESG-GT 1141   Lecture   3-4 Credits

Instructor(s): Hoffman, Steinberg

Open only to students in the Department of Design for Stage and Film. 

In conjunction with the Graduate Directing program at Columbia University, led by Anne Bogart, set, costume and lighting students (primarily in the second year) work in teams led by a Columbia directing student. Emphasis is placed on conceptual work conceived through discussion that gives equal weight to all members of the collaboration.