Profession set designer

Set designers develop a set concept for a performance and supervise the execution of it. Their work is based on research and artistic vision. Their design is influenced by and influences other designs and must be conform with these designs and the overall artistic vision. Therefore, the designers work closely with artistic directors, operators and the artistic team. During rehearsals and performance they coach the operators to obtain optimal timing and manipulation. Set designers develop sketches, design drawings, models, plans or other documentation to support the workshop and performance crew. They may also design exhibition stands for fairs and other events. 

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Personality Type

Skills

  • Update design results during rehearsals

    Updating the design results based on observation of the stage image during the rehearsals, especially where the different designs and the action are integrated.

  • Draw prop sketches

    Make sketches of envisioned props to help develop the concept and to share with others.

  • Adapt to artists' creative demands

    Work with artists, striving to understand the creative vision and adapting to it. Make full use of your talents and skills to reach the best possible result.

  • Monitor sociological trends

    Identify and investigate sociological trends and movements in society.

  • Develop design concept

    Research information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production. Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff members, in order to develop design concepts and plan productions.

  • Adapt existing designs to changed circumstances

    Adapt an existing design to changed circumstances and ensure that the artistic quality of the original design is reflected in the final result.

  • Safeguard artistic quality of performance

    Observe the show, anticipate and react to possible technical problems, ensuring optimal artistic quality.

  • Define set materials

    Make set construction drawings, define a proper set building and select painting materials and methods.

  • Use technical documentation

    Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.

  • Verify feasibility

    Interpret an artistic plan and verify whether the described design can be executed.

  • Meet deadlines

    Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.

  • Understand artistic concepts

    Interpret an artist's explanation or demonstration of their artistic concepts, inceptions and processes and strive to share their vision.

  • Monitor developments in technology used for design

    Identify and explore recent developments in technology and materials used in the live performance industry, in order to create an up-to-date technical background for one’s personal design work.

  • Use communication equipment

    Set up, test and operate different types of communication equipment such as transmission equipment, digital network equipment, or telecommunications equipment.

  • Analyse a script

    Break down a script by analysing the dramaturgy, form, themes and structure of a script. Conduct relevant research if necessary.

  • Develop design ideas cooperatively

    Share and develop design ideas with the artistic team. Conceptualise new ideas independently and with others. Present your idea, gain feedback and take it into account. Make sure the design fits with the work of other designers.

  • Model sets

    Produce plans, drawings and models of sets.

  • Research new ideas

    Thorough research for information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production based.

  • Define prop materials

    Decide what materials the props will be made from, and document the conclusions.

  • Sketch set images

    Quickly sketch ideas for set layouts and details.

  • Create set models

    Create three-dimensional models of the envisioned set layout.

  • Coach staff for running the performance

    Give instructions to all team members about how they should run the performance.

  • Prevent fire in a performance environment

    Take steps to prevent fire in a performance environment. Make sure the space complies with fire safety rules, with sprinklers and fire extinguishers installed where necessary. Make sure staff are aware of fire prevention measures.

  • Analyse score

    Analysing the score, form, themes and structure of a piece of music.

  • Communicate during show

    Efficient communication during live performance, anticipate any possible malfunctioning.

  • Perform quality control of design during a run

    Control and ensure the quality of design results during a run.

  • Draw stage layouts

    Manual drawing or sketching of stage layouts.

  • Analyse the scenography

    Analyse the selection and distribution of material elements on a stage.

  • Work ergonomically

    Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.

  • Present detailed design proposals

    Prepare and present detailed design suggestions for a specific production to a mixed group of people, including technical, artistic and management staff.

  • Propose improvements to artistic production

    Assess past artistic activities with a view to improving future projects.

  • Analyse the artistic concept based on stage actions

    Analyse the artistic concept, form and structure of a live performance based on observation during rehearsals or improvisation. Create a structured base for the design process of a specific production.

Optional knowledge and skills

mark the information from the ground plans on the stage area ensure visual quality of the set purchase props work with respect for own safety organise resources for artistic production follow safety procedures when working at heights provide documentation adapt artistic plan to location adapt props make set construction drawings update budget use personal protection equipment labour legislation prevent technical problems with scenic elements draw up artistic production define prop building methods keep personal administration translate artistic concepts to technical designs work safely with machines document your own practice analyse the need for technical resources lead a team build props prevent technical problems with stage equipment define set building methods paint sets copyright legislation