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Research at WSD2013

OPEN LAB: PQ’11: photos by Nick Kapica

TESTing 2013

Staging Performance Design Research at WSD2013

9 – 13 September 2013

TESTing 2013 was an event in which selected artists, scholars and performance practitioners gathered, shared and presented their research in-process upon the ‘global stage’, while questioning the stage’s whereabouts and realities of globalized performance.

As a five day open workshop for designated international researchers (academics and practitioners) within the dynamic environment of World Stage Design, TESTing 2013 staged interdisciplinary and collaborative investigations. Encouraging peer-to-peer encounters between theorists and performance-makers, it emphasised process over product and allowed for embodied explorations in real space and time.

Specially coordinated by OISTAT’s Research Commission and sponsored by WSD2013, the participating projects in TESTing 2013 were selected through a peer-review process and include individual researchers and teams from South Africa, Germany, Portugal, UK, Canada, NZ, Brazil, Hong Kong, Greece.

You can download an overview of the participating projects here:

A Performative Diary – urban sites as romantic context for a lover’s dialog

experiential scene & sensable screening







I’ve been here before 

carvalho 2 cavalho

Machine for Living

Making Up Two Minds-a scenographic experiment

penna3 penna 1

Mother Tongue

ORO – the vanishing point

Space +Page

Testing Limits – Alchemy, costume and the body

The New Theatre Aesthetics in the Pearl River Delta Region, China (Hong Kong-Shenzhen-Macau) as reflections of shifting socio-eco-cultural-political phenomenon

The Fractal Clocks

Areas of research included the following:

Performance design processes

How can the process and labour involved in costume creation, create performance?

How can the mutual understanding of the performers’ kinetic experience of space and the designer’s tactile experience of the page and drawing medium, be explored in order to facilitate an effective collaboration?

Performance design and participation

How do audience and artists interact in participatory work which is centred on the experience of space?

How does urban space serve a dramaturgical space to create affective relationships between performers and spectators?

Performance design and politics

At the intersection of scenography, women and food, how might we valorise performative practices which have often been confined to the margins?

Does a changing socio-eco-cultural-political context produce new stage aesthetics?

Performance design and communication

How can scenography illuminate processes by which information is communicated, processed, represented and transformed?

To what degree is design culturally specific?

Performance design and the city

Drawing on architecture and scenography, how might the immediate experience of the city can be shared?

How can spatial and architectural dramaturgies guide an audience and their experience of the event? What happens when we try to negotiate between the disciplined, prescribed space of the proscenium theatre and the more anarchic, democratic space of the city?

Luminary guests whose own research is internationally recognized were present to critique and respond to the work as design scholarship in-motion rather than at completion. These included:

• Maaike Bleeker (NL), President of Performance Studies international

• Sodja Lotker (CZ), Artistic Director of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space

• Rodrigo Tisi (Chile), Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture of the University of Arts, Science and Communication (UNIACC)

From 9 -13 September, TESTing researchers, will be working in and around WSD to develop their research. Visitors are welcome to drop in at the Seligman Studio and find out more about our featured projects and how research into performance design is being conducted. Some of the research projects are looking for participants – if you are interested in taking part, please email for more information.

Visitors are also very welcome to attend the TESTing 2013 public presentations:

AMUSE-BOUCHE: TESTing the Palate – Monday 9th September 6.00pm – 9.00pm

RECIPES FOR RESEARCH – Wednesday 11th September, 6.00pm – 8.00pm

TESTing 2013: A Feast of Inquiry, Progress & Reflections – Friday 13th September 6.00pm – 9.00pm

Hosted by:

Dr Dorita Hannah: WSD Research Curator and Chair of OISTAT Research

Dr Joslin McKinney: SBTT Research Coordinator for WSD2013