Our Modern Earth (is a f*cking mess)

Set Design

In collaboration with Amber Liberté and Shift Aotearoa

Basement Theatre 2020

Our Modern Earth (directed Amber Liberté) is a live performance and multimedia art installation exploring climate change. The set is installed during the performance and uses only second-hand and ‘waste’ materials. By the end of the show, the theatre space will be transformed into a f*cking mess.

The set was inspired by underwater ecosystems and the anthropocene. I love the texture of coral and the idea of natural structures being made out of man-made materials. Also this idea of ‘drowning’ in our own excessive consumption and waste.

A key design challenge for the set was finding ways to minimise our waste. This involved considering the entire life cycle of each set-piece from beginning to end-of-life. We resourced second hand materials from opshops, and existing waste materials from our homes and external institutions. For design and construction, we had to consider the end-life of each set-piece so that at the end of the season everything could either be reused and/or easily disassembled and sorted into the appropriate bins. This meant considering modular design principles, using temporary fasteners, and reducing the amount of material manipulation.

Photographs by Milla Lee Project