Set design has the power to take the audience to a different world. And by adding 3D mapping technology to lighting, sound and blocking, designers can up the stakes and immerse the audience in a piece of the future. The set design team behind TEDxLSU 2017 did just that. With 14 large white wooden boxes, three projectors and 12 out-of-this-world video transitions, the LSU Union Theater was transformed into an immersive TEDxLSU experience.
Launch Media directors Wes Kennison and Ryan Golden, along with TEDxLSU Creative Communication Team member Martin Debord, worked together to create this vision of TEDxLSU 2017. Wes and Ryan conceptualized and produced the chain reaction-themed storyline, while Martin spearheaded physical set design and engineered the show execution.
Martin, a senior at LSU, mapped out the boxes’ locations to the millimeter to ensure the projections would line up perfectly with the boxes’ edges. If a box was bumped or accidentally moved, hours of his work would have been lost. (It’s safe to say tensions were high when someone walked too close!)
The project would not have been a success, Martin noted, without resources, time and talent from multiple campus entities. The LSU College of Art + Design woodshop offered space and tools for preparing and transporting set materials. TEDxLSU Team members Ian Andrepont and Dilan Patin, among others, worked around the clock to gather supplies, paint and construct the physical set. Throughout project development, Martin worked closely with Wes and LSU CxC staff members.
The resulting scenes presented on the TEDxLSU stage March 11 were, themselves, what organizer Annemarie Galeucia called “a collaborative, technological performance.” Combining classic physical set design techniques with contemporary technology and collective vision gave the set a life of its own. No longer just a representation in the background, the TEDxLSU team converted the set design into an immersive experience.