1. Handbook
  2. Majors, Minors and Specialisations
  3. Performance Design

Performance Design

MajorYear: 2018

You’re viewing the 2018 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks
You’re currently viewing the 2018 version of this component


A central player in the act of creating a performance is the designer. Whether it is in the role of set designer, costume designer, lighting designer or sound designer, they play a pivotal and collaborative part in the conception and realisation of a performance

Performance designers use as their raw materials some or all of the following – the human figure, space, light and sound. As a student you will learn to manipulate these materials and explore their relationship to each other through studio-based classes along side a comprehensive study of the theory, history and practice of performance design

You will develop the conceptual and technical skills required to respond to a design brief and effectively represent and communicate your ideas, culminating in a major design project in third year.

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Design with a major in Performance Design, students will have the option of either finding employment or applying to continue into the Master of Design for Performance, or the Master of Production Design for Screen.

Intended learning outcomes

In addition to the generic attributes of the University of Melbourne graduate, Performance Design Major graduates should be able to demonstrate:

  • Broad knowledge of design in the specific and specialised discipline of performance design;
  • Capacity to critically interpret and integrate historical, social, cultural and stylistic precedents with performance design concepts;
  • Broad knowledge of relevant design professions and an awareness of the wider professional context in which performance designers operate;
  • Effective use of theoretical approaches, design strategies and processes at various levels of scale, complexity and detail;
  • Capability to integrate relevant pragmatic and technological issues of the chosen design project;
  • Competency in a range of communication skills and techniques including verbal, written, analogue and digital visual strategies;
  • Capacity to work to a design brief, individually, or collaboratively as part of a design team;
  • Awareness of the need to source, manage and dispose of materials in an environmentally sustainable way, and comprehension of professional responsibilities to shape and manage design in an environmentally, socially, and culturally sustainable way as appropriate to the discipline;
  • Acquisition of the knowledge and skills required to pursue further study in the discipline of performance design.
Last updated: 5 December 2018