Architecture as the Stage
When performances engage with their set design, they become more powerful, more intricate. The atmosphere gets woven into every element on the stage. The performance arts have the ability to surpass the conventional as they begin to mold with other disciplines, immersing the audience into a multi-faceted experience. Many performances today are conceptualized, rehearsed, and performed on Òblank canvassesÓ - from one small wooden room with a mirror to one large wooden room with hundreds of new faces staring back. Imagine architecture created in this manner: without site as a constraint, without site as an inspiration. Our surroundings are essential in the design process, and when that is taken away, our designs become placeless, lacking grounded conviction. By implementing a stage design that will become the site for the artistÕs work, one challenges the artist by providing them with a set of rules they can abide by or dispute. This will in turn make their work stronger as their concept gets applied in various mensions. Architecture has the potential to become that site for performance. Artists constantly find inspiration in daily life: Paul Taylor choreographs from the pedestrian movement of the busy urban corridors; John Cage composes music from the ambient noise of an airport. Inspiration is everywhere, and can be particularly compelling when discovered in daily life. Just as the pedestrian can be conceived as the performer, architecture can be conceived as the stage. Once this is realized, one begins to question the role of the theater. Is the theater just a container for the stage? If the stage design is constantly being reconfigured, what if the architecture of the theater began to respond to this? By inverting the norm and placing the stage on the envelope of the building, one begins to fully experience the architecture as the stage and, in turn, the world as the theater.