THE DESIGN OFFICE is the essential work tool for ‘Compagnie KORBO’ in the design of its mechanical giants, working with muscular power. These articulated puppets are made of noble materials. They are long-lasting and dismountable spectacular objects that are easily transported in light-duty vehicles.
Here is a true Legends Office! Indeed, it is thanks to this Design office that the legend of our articulated giants comes to life. Between legends or reality, humanity has always favoured legends, but it is important to realise that every single legend originates in a strong and inescapable reality.
“It is when pondering the object that the subject is the most likely to deepen its knowledge.” translated from Gaston BACHELARD.
From the original idea to the first public performance, at least 4 years elapse.
At the beginning of the adventure, an analysis of what motivates the project is done through an initial writing phase on paper that constantly connects the artistic and technical. Once the deeper content is established to realise these giant mythical articulated animals without consuming an outrageously large amount of fossil energy, the design phase commences. Constantly going back and forth, taking pauses and steps back, the ingredients progressively come together. It is during Year 1 that the fruitful imagination, inspired by Méliès’s vision or by old sword-and-sandal epic films, is at play to develop the possibility to parade everywhere with the notion of dismountable in mind – with assembly taking up one day of work and disassembly only half a day. This truly nomadic state of mind allows for a great mobility when it comes to travelling from one town to another.
When feasible, the use of recovered noble materials is always accounted for. These are sustainable structures – creations to which we could attribute an “eco-efficient show” label. These creations could be manufactured in countries with low levels of industrialisation. Everything is thought through in order to avoid any boondoggle when manufacturing these toys of amplified scale, that are in fact travelling works of art. That is our remit.
The writer, the scenographer and the stage designer work hand in hand on the visual part of the project (sketches and drafts) which combines artistic and technical design. They give the project its soul and start working on a 3D vision software. Year 2.
Once this phase is completed, comes the building of a 1:5 scale model, which again involves pauses, steps back and adjustments. This model is then scrutinised by at least two engineers for their input and to guarantee the feasibility of the project. Year 3.
At this point, the budget can be fairly accurately determined.
The building can start.
To this end, a team of skilled experts is handpicked and brought together in order to work wood, iron, aluminium, cast-iron and all kinds of fabrics and leather. They are artisans, craftsmen, boilermakers, metalworkers, each of them a specialist in their craft and in general mechanics.
It is made-to-measure.
The lighting designer is ready to get down to work, for the parade also takes place at night. The animal must see well and be seen.
Everything then materialises in Compagnie KORBO’s construction workshop. Year 4.
Once the puppet is complete, the casting is finalised. The number of actors is recorded. They are stage actors, dansors, puppeteers, circus artists, stilt walkers, fire-eaters and jugglers and/or musicians.
A film is produced.
It includes the position of the characters who will move around the giant beast and provides a detailed description of the phases hereby recounted. This film is complemented by the presentation file. These elements are aimed at diffusers, producers and programmers.