PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
Prior to the pandemic, we had taken our freedom of movement for granted. Currently, our normal ways of life are enduring a detour during which we have needed to reevaluate our relationship to space. Like one long, never ending roadblock, 2021 continues to impact our normal mobility routes. In response, our proposed design for Ragdale Ring finds inspiration from the temporary barriers used at roadworks and construction sites across the world.
These existing structures which include traffic cones, safety railings, reflective barricades and folding guards are our metaphors for the spatial and societal diversions, and divisions, we are currently having to adapt to. They are designed for reassembly and efficient set-up, making them highly flexible to varying locations. As we have had to navigate unpredictable circumstances, so will our modular components.
Our aim is to reinvent these structures while maintaining their familiarity, embracing a sense of both authenticity and fantasy in the production elements. We would achieve this through inventive configurations and unexpected combinations of readymades. The cost effective and durable components will be retrofitted into new modules and color coordinated. The final set which will include seating, screens, railings and platform components will allow for variable arrangements and accommodate a variety of interactions. They can be used as projection surfaces or spatial dividers, and as mobile props. After the events, the components can be either fully or partially dismantled and donated to local schools to be used as play equipment or sports barriers.
In making the familiar strange, our proposal mirrors the current climate in which something as simple as a trip to the grocery store can feel foreign. However, we are as interested in overcoming setbacks and breaking barriers through the unconventional and inventive use of the stage. ‘Proceed with Caution!’ calls for interactive action and an immersive experience in which the audience and performers can explore and experience the spatial setting in new and creative ways – passing through, crawling under and standing above these barriers from our imagination.