Perception---you have that power.

There is purpose in design. There is information in a setting. There is truth in your environment. Fake or real, it's there.

All images are copyrighted by Heidi Hoffer unless otherwise indicated. Your courtesy in using my photographs must include crediting me as the photographer. You must tell me when and where you've used them and send the link to me showing your use of them.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Doors: The Shutter Part

Doors for the positive-minded open into other places, some of which are desirable and some of which are not. For the negative-minded, however, they are closures, barriers - preventative structures imposed on the freedom of the individual. Designers are very careful about their doors. Doorways will be in another post!

Door Inventory
Photo by Andrew Fox

AutoCAD Door
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.

When painter’s elevations are made of the door, color is dictated along with shadows, decay, age, dirt, and texture. This is different than a portion of a set sketch involving the door because surrounding props and furniture are removed so you look at just the door and its wall.

Throughout all of this, we keep in mind the reason the door is there. It leads somewhere. It opens from somewhere. Doors onstage typically frame entrance and exit lines and action. Doors invite. You wonder, don’t you, what’s beyond that door?
It is in their use where you learn a door’s purpose.

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