A playful art excursion by design
By Design is an experimental art performance that marries 3D graphic design with live performance. (Photo: Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay)

A playful art excursion by design

Audiences walking about during a performance is typically frowned upon. The playful theatrical show, By Design, however, encourages audiences to do just that, and even invites them to climb stairs. If this sounds surprising, it is because the production by contemporary performance company Cake Theatrical Productions is not your usual cookie-cutter show.

Staged at the Esplanade Theatre Studio from 23 Apr, By Design marries live performance with graphic design and its aim is for artists and audiences to come together to play, experiment and have fun expressing themselves in new way. During the 90-min show, performers will interact with vibrantly coloured 3D designs and structures by three graphic design artists Vanessa Ban, Zach Lieberman and Amber Vittoria and invite audience to participate at points.

We speak with Cake Theatrical Productions on the idea behind this experimental production and the surprises in store for audiences.

What inspired By Design?
We thrive on being inventive, experimenting with different forms, and finding unexpected ways to push boundaries and produce fresh experiences of performance and art. We admire the artistry  designers and we wanted to respond to that performatively.

Why marry live performers with graphic design? 
Technology is altering the ways we connect and find meaning in contemporary life. Creating a work where digital and graphical elements “perform” with live performers feels current, exploratory, and it captures our artistic spirit. The result will be unexpected, and exciting for audiences with an adventurous spirit.

What can audiences expect?
Audiences will find themselves in three spaces that saturate their senses. The spaces are defined by 3D structures designed by the three graphic artists. Live performers in the space will bring the spaces to life by interacting with the designer’s structures.

Vittoria’s design involves inflatable sculptures. Ban’s work explores issues of gendered spaces, mobility, hierarchy and visibility. Lieberman’s creation is concerned with motion and how movement can create an emotional response in humans.

Replies were edited and condensed for clarity.

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