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Deadline for Proposals: 29 May 2020

Editorial Information

Guest Editors:
Thea Brejzek
Lawrence Wallen


Theatre & Performance Design

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On the Virtual Model

This special issue of Theatre and Performance Design, On the Virtual Model, guest edited by Thea Brejzek and Lawrence Wallen, invites scholars and practitioners to engage with the virtual model in the expanded practices of theatre and performance design. From the advent of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) in the mid-1960s to the emergence of commercially available 3D modelling and simulation software in the mid 1980s, the virtual model has emerged as the preeminent method of design, representation and documentation for stage design and architecture. In the performing arts, the virtual model has extended itself from its
role in the design process to an active visual component in the performance itself through augmented and mixed reality performances and the representation of the virtual as an extension of the physical stage. Unlike its analogue equivalent, the virtual model exists simultaneously as drawing and artefact. While it is infinitely scalable, it is without material existence. It may never be physically realised and indefinitely reside in the virtual world in the form of an idea, game or film set. In the most general understanding, models –both digital and analogue– are principal instruments in the design and communication processes of
theatre and performance design in that they clarify and explain spatial configurations and relations. However, as virtual reality and artificial intelligence increasingly converge, design processes are undergoing fundamental shifts, with recent development seeing the genesis of highly interactive and immersive collaborative platforms for scenographic design. In their publication, The Model as Performance (2018) and in a special issue of this journal, On Models, Volume 4, Issues 1-2, 2018, which they also guest edited, Brejzek and Wallen have argued the physical model as an epistemic tool, in that it is both knowledge-producing and knowledge-communicating and a cosmopoetic or world-making agent. In turning our attention to the virtual model with this special edition of TPD, we invite scholarly and artistic positions that articulate new theories and practices of the virtual model in theatre and performance design that foreground its technical, aesthetic, performative and epistemic attributes. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
The technologies behind the virtual model

  • Virtual Modelling as Research
  • From the Virtual Model to the Stage
  • Virtual Scenographic Processes
  • Virtual Models and Reality 
  • The Temporality of the Virtual Model
  • New Narratives of the Virtual Model
  • The Aesthetics of the Virtual Model
  • The Representation of the Virtual on the Stage 
  • Virtual Lighting Augmented and Mixed
  • Reality Scenography
  • Intersections - between analogue and virtual model

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Submission Instructions

Contributors may include images, audio and video files as part of their submission (subject to clearing copyright). Proposals or abstracts (300 words max) should be submitted to [email protected] by 29th May 2020. Completed contributions will be submitted by 4th January 2021 for publication online and in print in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue, subject to peer review. Details of the journal's house style are detailed on the journal's website.

Instructions for Authors