meredith miller – Staging

Staging buildings, staging performances—both involve design as an anticipatory act where people, space, and materials are choreographed into changing assemblages. This studio first analyzed a range of theater buildings from different eras and construciton types via their parts and systems. Using drawing to inventory significant components and “restage” their assembly as a performance, students came to understand these parts not as the static elements of a fixed typology, but as a field of possibility for the evolving medium of performance arts. Students then each designed a temporary theater on the site of the Power Center, which required proposing a tectonics of assembly and disassembly. Their initial material and temporal strategies then informed the final 8-week design project which imagines a more permanent extension to the Power Center.

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Student Work

Mingrui Jiang – “PLAYFULNESS”

Instead of the strict separation of audience and performance in traditional theaters, this project explores small-scaled playful architectural parts and different colors to bring vitality to the theater experience. Informed by the case study of Theatro Merida, the initial design for a temporary theater focuses on a playful tectonic of stacking and hanging. To remove the separation between auditorium and stage, the final design for a permanent theater creates “hinge” spaces at the overlaps between three theaters: indoor performance, outdoor movie and semi-indoor music. Evolved from the form of temporary theater, colorful elements and landscape integrate to make a vibrant contemporary theater next to the Power Center.

Josh Myers – “In Production”

As a spectator on show night, it is difficult to imagine the time and labor spent in preparing a theatrical production. The project seeks to engage multiple temporalities of the activities that lead to a performance, lengthening the period for spectatorship and activating the theater as an institution beyond show night. As an addition to the Power Center for the Performing Arts, the project relies on the loose tectonics of bundling and stacking and references the tectonics of the loading dock to accommodate the arrival, assembly, and performance periods of a production.

SiaMak Saadati – “Deployable Structure”

This project for a theater proposes a deployable structure to provide distinct spatial alternatives for different performances and different seasons. The deployable structure not only reconfigures the seating in the theater but it also transforms the architecture itself. This idea of temporality impacts the nature of each component. The building’s tectonic details both allow for operability and adjustability in the whole assembly and convey a sense of anticipation and performativity

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