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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Performance Costume and Puppetry (DESI08112)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryPerformance Costume and Puppetry introduces students to key principles, methods and techniques in costume design for performers and for performance which incorporates puppetry. Its primary aim is to provide fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding that is vital for a sustained practice within performance costume design and puppet design and construction. This course consists of an introductory lecture, regular tutorials and practical workshops, providing a basic introduction to the skills essential for costume and puppet design.
Course description The course will introduce the interdisciplinary nature of performance costume through the exploration of costume design, puppetry design and puppet making for characters drawn from one dramatic text.

An introductory read-through and discussion of the text and strategies for research and design development will incorporate an introduction to the use of puppets in performance and contemporary practitioners in this field. Students will develop character profiles, alongside a general design concept for a performance piece which integrates actors and puppets, before proceeding to research costume ideas and puppetry styles appropriate to their interpretation of the text. Drawing upon their own research material, students will explore and finalise ideas for costume designs for the set of characters under consideration, including associated puppet designs.

To promote individual creative problem solving and competence within the production of outcomes students will produce at least one of their puppet designs, making effective, fit for purpose practical puppets. Students will be supported in their design explorations and practical explorations by regular tutorials, where the students design research, exploratory design, development drawing, character illustration drawing, fabric sampling and puppet prototypes will be discussed. Workshops and studio practice will further embed knowledge and understanding in the basics of puppet types, their historical and performance context as well as construction techniques to help students understand the possibilities and limitations of each puppet type.

Studio sessions will give the students the opportunity to develop their personal interpretation of character projection through costume design, integrating puppets and their design as part of their performance concept. They will use drawing and prototyping as exploratory media. The tutorials will give the students the opportunity to discuss and develop their ideas and skills.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to ALL STUDENTS and enrolments are managed on a first come first served basis until the course is full. The course will be open to enrolments from Wednesday 11th September at 11.00 am. Please sign up for the course through your own School (they will advise if this is done via your PT, SSO or Teaching Office). We do not currently keep a waiting list.
Additional Costs Drawing materials, sketchbooks, printing, fabric samples, etc. approx. £30.
Puppetry make approx. £20-£50
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to undertake relevant research and apply creative responses and approaches to the project brief, evidenced through research files, design development drawing.
  2. Demonstrate practical skill and knowledge of puppet types and their construction as evidenced through the making of puppet prototypes and the making of a resolved 3D puppet.
  3. Communicate ideas persuasively, demonstrating visual and practical intentions evidenced through resolved costume illustrations, technical drawings and fabric sampling.
Reading List
1. Lambeth, C. The Well-Dressed Puppet: A Guide to Creating Puppet Costumes. Focal press (2014)
2. Blumenthal, E. Puppetry, a World History. Harry N. Abrams (2005)
3. Bicat, T. Puppets and Performing Objects: A Practical Guide. Crowood Press (2007)
4. Buchan, S. The Quay Brothers: Into a Metaphysical Playroom. University of Minnesota Press (2011)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Costume design ability, drawing skills, keen interest in the use of puppetry in performance, interest in developing practical skills, creative problem solvers.
KeywordsPerformance costume,character interpretation,design research,design development,puppetry
Course organiserMs Emma Renhard
Course secretaryMs Georgia Dodsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 5712
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