Photo by Andrew Fox
By Heidi Hoffer
A collection of doors by themselves, all lined up like books on a shelf as part of a theatre’s inventory seems lifeless and undemanding. Most doors are even missing knobs because those are another design choice to be made. When drafted in AutoCAD or Vectorworks, doors look very clinical and have no personality. (Plates of hand drafting have the draftsperson’s personality but the door still has no personality.)
A designer has an image in his/her head, usually in 3 dimensions, about the door. You consider how tall, how wide, how many hinges, whether or not it is wood or metal and so on. You take in to consideration whether or not both sides of the doors are seen. You consider the swing arc of the door and whether or not the door is slammed once or repeatedly. You consider the door in relation to the actual materials of the walls (which can be cloth covered or hard covered) to decide if the door needs to be a dependent or independent unit, or if it is painted or glued onto the walls.
Pencil Sketch of Door for "Moon Over Buffalo" by Heidi Hoffer
Painter's Elevation of Door for "Moliere" by Heidi Hoffer
A pencil sketch of a door starts to have some personality. The door is sketched with a purpose in mind for a particular play for a particular manner of use. The styles of the sketch and the things on or surrounding the door start to tell us more about the door by context.