Setting the mise en scène

Set and costume designer Julie Lynch speaks about NIDA’s Design Studio courses.
Setting the mise en scène

Carmen costume designs by Julie Lynch.

Award winning designer and NIDA Design Studio tutor Julie Lynch says that the most rewarding aspect of her work at NIDA Studios was teaching people from a variety of professional backgrounds. ‘This blend of diverse skills and interest creates a dynamic character to the Design Studio group, encouraging exciting design dialogue as well as design experimentation.


‘The Studios are attended by people with a genuine interest in entering the profession. They devote a lot of their spare time towards building their skills base, which creates an environment of both rigor and fun.’

Applications are now open for a number of exciting and varied mid-year NIDA Studio short courses, which target each of the creative disciplines and are delivered as flexible and intensive programs each weekend at NIDA’s premises in Sydney.

Commencing on 19 July is Designers Studio: Screen, where participants develop creative design skills for feature film, short film and television.

Young people also considering a design career can apply for the Young Design and Production Studio, commencing 27 July.

Lynch says that NIDA Design Studio courses develop the student’s individual creative voice, communication skills, and confidence – all essential ingredients to a vibrant and sustainable design career.

‘We tend to work in the same way as we would in the fulltime course and the profession, by analysing a script, conducting research, design experimentation exercises, costume drawing activities, set design exploration, model-making exercises and design presentations.

‘This way the student has a great understanding of both training and industry practice. Students often comment at the end of a studio as they look back at their achievements and say, “I had no idea there was so much to consider.”’

‘Participants completing the program may move into an assistant design area, or some will improve their skills to gain acceptance into a full-time design degree. The NIDA Studios will assist them to take the first steps towards a future career in design.

‘It is a very competitive business. To remain involved in the industry long-term requires a solid skills base, hard work, tenacity and a sense of humour,’ Lynch says.

‘Students come to the NIDA Studios for a variety of reasons: some just want to get a sense of the vocation, others wish to apply for a full-time course and seek the necessary skills to improve their application project, some have a school project they need assistance with, some are considering a career change.

‘I have taught doctors, lawyers, architects, school students, schoolteachers, all kinds of artists, many who just need more confidence to find their way into the industry. I make a particular point in encouraging the individual and not comparing them to others within the class who will come to the work with completely different life experience and skills base. The Studios are for the individual to make the most of their own opportunity. It is totally for individual development.’

Enrolments are now open for a number of NIDA Studio short courses in the disciplines of Design for stage and screen.

Visit the NIDA Studio website for more information including course details and application deadlines. 

Troy Nankervis

Thursday 5 June, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis