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Creating something unique

Our Process

At 59, ideas for projects can present themselves in different ways. Sometimes we’re approached to collaborate on an existing piece of work, sometimes we’re given a blank-canvas commission, sometimes we’ll develop an idea ourselves.

Regardless, the first stage in developing a creative approach involves unearthing the story we want to tell, building a narrative, developing a treatment and identifying key story beats. Through creative workshops with the interdisciplinary team and round table sessions with the Project Directors and Art Directors, we’ll decide what lies at the heart of the project and how design and technology can be harnessed to then bring that idea to life.

We may work in different disciplines and in different locations, but our values always remain the same – we strive to find new, inventive ways to use design to tell compelling stories.

Conceptual Approach

To immerse ourselves within the world of the story, we undertake extensive research, priding ourselves on our ability to always dig deeper, to go beyond the surface. We read, research, gather references, sketch.

But our work never exists in a vacuum. We make places for audiences to escape to, so our first thought is always about how we can engage them. Developing a concept often culminates in a script which helps us create a narrative blueprint to inform the eventual design.

Development

Here we’ll begin to evolve concepts into design principles and visual ideas: 3D modelling, sketches, VR, physical models, look development, visualisations, scene build ups and renders – they all help us imagine what a project might look and feel like. The technical design and producing approach happens simultaneously, considering feasibility, budget, scale, technical design, and seamlessly blends into the overall vision of the project.

A bespoke team of collaborators all harmonise to bring a piece to life; animators, architects, sound, lighting and costume designers; composers, graphic artists, editors, writers. Space is created for regular design crits with the wider design studio where interrogation of the initial conceptual and the design response to it is carried out.

Detailed Design & Production

We take these conceptual design responses to another level with drawings, 3D models, animatics, storyboards, animation tests, model box projector tests, technical designs, and the preparation of construction drawings. Music and sound design is also developed at this stage.

Next, we move into Production – visual content of various kinds is created – , live action shoots, animation and interactive development, often closely integrated with the physical elements of the design. Scores are written, music is recorded, construction drawings are sent off to be built.

But turning designs on paper into something physical requires another layer. Scenic finish testing, completing material studies, overseeing workshop and on-site build and collaboration with fabricators brings us closer to realising our Story Driven Design.

Delivery

Where our world is realised. On-site direction for the production period will take place and all elements of the project are brought together during the technical rehearsal periods, ensuring the show is coherent from beginning to end. In the lead up to opening night, the show is then developed in response to rehearsals and previews.

However, no project is complete without the most important ingredient – the audience. Whether watching a performance in the theatre, walking through a museum space, taking in an immersive show, or encountering one of our large-scale public artworks, the audience provides the magic, and they are the reason we do what we do.

Company Culture

Universal Design

Flexibility

Universal Design is one of the core values at the heart of the studio’s thinking. 59 Productions aims to produce work that can be accessed, understood, and enjoyed to the greatest extent possible by all audiences, regardless of age, size, gender, ability or disability.

Equitable Use

59 Productions understands disability within the Social Model. This means people are not disabled because of their bodies or minds but because of society’s physical and behavioural barriers. In this context, we believe it is on us, as a design studio and production company, to ensure all audiences are considered, and no one is left behind.

Accessibility

The accessibility of our work can be considered throughout a project’s development, from its concept to its completion and from its design details to its marketing and communication. In order to produce the best work possible, we encourage conversations on the topic of universal design with clients and collaborators.

Our commitment

59 Productions is committed to using the imagination and talent of the team to create experiences for everyone and ensure our stories are inclusively shared.

Company Culture

Sustainability

We understand the impact live events industries can have on the environment and recognise the urgent action we need to take towards resisting climate change. Being sustainable is inherently creative in itself, and a future where creativity thrives asks for more sustainable approaches to making work.

We have ambitions to deliver fully circular, regenerative and/or net zero as well as reduce our operations impact in our design studio.

Tangible action

Due to the varying nature of our work, what we control shifts and changes per project. Where possible, we aim to discuss the following with clients and project teams as early as possible in order to identify achievable sustainable goals.

  • Energy
  • Travel 
  • Accommodation
  • Freight
  • Materials
  • Audience Travel

Embrace our responsibilities

Design thinking and imagination, aligned with science-based targets and circular economy principles, have the potential to be a powerhouse for progress. We want to lead by example as we aim to reduce any negative impacts of our acclaimed design work on the environment.

Our current primary focus is to cut emissions by 50% by 2030, anchoring our transition plan on science-based targets. We are reducing our emissions based on our estimated carbon footprint analysis of 2019.

Steps we are taking to achieve this are:

  • Track our CO2e of all major projects where possible
  • Company-wide sustainability training
  • Avoid carbon-intensive energy supplies wherever feasible
  • Zero air freight policy
  • Zero air travel policy when there are alternatives
  • Design and fabricate only materials with CO2e and other environmental data available from the manufacturer, where possible
  • Select materials from the above with the lowest possible CO2e credentials, whilst remaining fit-for-purpose
  • Scale back on the use of non-reusable materials, designing to incorporate rental and other re-deployable components where we can

Making real change

To see an example of how we embed sustainable practices throughout our work, please see our sustainability case study on our project, ‘About Us’

We understand that sustainable practices and learnings are always changing and we want to continue to learn from others and share what we’ve learned so far. Please reach out to us if you want to chat about our work or how we can learn from you.