This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Scenic design" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Set design model by Marcel Jambon for an 1895 Paris production of Giuseppe Verdi's Otello.
Set design for the New Zealand Opera's 2016 production of Mozart's Magic Flute
Scenic design for The 2010 Family Series, by Glenn Davis
A simple red curtain set design for the Oresteia presented by Stairwell Theater, 2019

Scenic design, also known as stage design or set design, is the creation of scenery for theatrical productions including plays and musicals. The term can also be applied to film and television[1] productions, where it may be referred to as production design.[2] Scenic designers create sets and scenery to support the overall artistic goals of the production. Scenic design is an aspect of scenography, which includes theatrical set design as well as light and sound.

Scenic designer

A scenic designer works with the theatre director and other members of the creative team to establish a visual concept for the production and to design the stage environment. They are responsible for developing a complete set of design drawings that include:

In planning, scenic designers often make multiple scale models and renderings. Models are often made before final drawings are completed for construction.[3] These precise drawings help the scenic designer effectively communicate with other production staff, especially the technical director, production manager, charge scenic artist, and prop master.

In Europe and Australia,[4][5] many scenic designers are also responsible for costume design, lighting design and sound design. They are commonly referred to as theatre designers, scenographers, or production designers.

Scenic design often involves skills like carpentry, architecture, textual analysis, and budgeting.[1]

Many modern scenic designers use 3D CAD models to produce design drawings that used to be done by hand.[6]

Notable scenic designers

Scenic designer Robert Edmond Jones (1887-1954) drawing at a waist-high table (c. 1920).

Some notable scenic designers include: Adolphe Appia, Boris Aronson, Alexandre Benois, Alison Chitty, Antony McDonald, Barry Kay, Caspar Neher, Cyro Del Nero, Aleksandra Ekster, David Gallo, Edward Gordon Craig, Es Devlin, Ezio Frigerio, Christopher Gibbs, Franco Zeffirelli, George Tsypin, Howard Bay, Inigo Jones, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Jo Mielziner, John Lee Beatty, Josef Svoboda, Ken Adam, Léon Bakst, Luciano Damiani, Maria Björnson, Ming Cho Lee, Natalia Goncharova, Nathan Altman, Nicholas Georgiadis, Oliver Smith, Ralph Koltai, Emanuele Luzzati, Neil Patel, Robert Wilson, Russell Patterson, Brian Sidney Bembridge, Santo Loquasto, Sean Kenny, Todd Rosenthal, Robin Wagner, Tony Walton, Louis Daguerre, Ralph Funicello, and Roger Kirk.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Set Designer | Berklee". Berklee. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  2. ^ LuPone, Robert (2008), Erlhoff, Michael; Marshall, Tim (eds.), "Set Design", Design Dictionary, Board of International Research in Design, Birkhäuser Basel, pp. 357–359, doi:10.1007/978-3-7643-8140-0_245, ISBN 978-3-7643-8140-0, retrieved 2023-11-08
  3. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary (2008-01-31). "ASK PLAYBILL.COM: Sets". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  4. ^ "Training as a Theatre Designer". Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London article. Archived from the original on 2016-09-03. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  5. ^ "Scenography, MA/MFA". The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Retrieved 2023-11-08.
  6. ^ "Scenic Designer". Yale Undergraduate Production. Retrieved 2021-12-22.

Further reading