A unique online version of the educational platform PQ STUDIO: Common Design Project was created in response to an unprecedented situation of social isolation caused by a coronavirus pandemic. Many student projects were cancelled so the Prague Quadrennial, in cooperation with the ATI (Arts and Theater Institute), decided to enter the process of educating young emerging performance designers creatively. We chose one theatrical text, and it is no coincidence that is Karel Capek’s The White Plague, which already 80 years ago discussed a situation dangerously similar to these days. We met with students at several webinars and one-on-one consultations and waited for what they would create.
“We are happy to report that we had the opportunity to connect with incredibly talented and inspiring young designers as they worked towards their final submissions to the Common Design Project 2020 Special Edition, summer term. Selecting the five finalists was indeed challenging. All of the proposed designs brought new creative ideas, and imaginative interpretations of the Capek’s play, The White Plague,” describing the leaders of the project Markéta Fantová and Patrick Du Wors.
Eleven universities and young artists applied for the summer semester of PQ STUDIO. The jury, composed of PQ Artistic Director Markéta Fantová, PQ Studio Curator Patrick Du Wors, and artist and lecturer Sophie Jump, selected the four projects. And here we bring you a sample of their inspiring creativity:
// Rebecca van Beeck, Sophie Altham //
// Jida Akil //
// Hannah Dramm, Josie Bellerby, Emeline Beroud, Joe Laftin, Tomás Pamer //
// Anrini Bhattacharyya, Margarida Da Silva, Shivani Kokkonda, Luiza Bordin Roithmann, Joana Domingues, Faye McKeever, Amy To //
Markéta Fantová and Patrick Du Wors are very happy the project sparked such interest among educators and students alike: “PQ Studio is an ongoing platform for education. We are delighted by the growing interest in this project, with a large number of participants for the fall term already registered. The PQ team is looking forward to presenting the final selections from both terms through a dedicated online gallery. This online gallery will launch in conjunction with the Karel Čapek symposium organized by the Arts and Theatre Institue, Prague, in January 2021.”
Under the curation of Patrick Du Wors, the PQ STUDIO Common Design Project already took place during PQ 2019, at a time when we could still meet face to face. Now the serious question of how to teach scenography online and work in a team with limited opportunities unable to work physically together in the studio is the challenge that drives us forward.