Teaching Production Design - GEECT Conference, IADT, Dublin, IRELAND

GEECT “Teaching Production Design” Symposium

National Film School, IADT, Dun Laoghaire

11 – 13 March 2015



Although design has always been crucial in cinema, the vital importance of the role of the art director was perhaps not fully realised – in Hollywood at least - until William Cameron Menzies was given the credit of “Production Designer” on Gone With The Wind in 1939. However, many film schools still do not educate or train production designers as they do directors, cinematographers or editors, rather introducing or explaining the discipline to film students in general. Our symposium is intended to explore how production design, art direction or décor is – or should be - taught in European film schools in the digital era, particularly now that Visual FX is now so crucial in contemporary cinema and television.



The two-day symposium will begin on Thursday with a keynote address by Alex McDowell, production designer, Professor of Practice at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and creative director of 5D Institute. As with all sessions of the symposium, it will be followed by a Q&A. Liam Doona, Head of the Department of Design & Visual Arts, will introduce IADT’s new undergraduate programme, Design for Stage and Screen, which has three pathways: Production Design, Costume Design, and Make-up Design. In the afternoon, there will be the opportunity for each school to make a very short PechaKucha presentation, explaining how it teaches Production Design, followed by a panel, Teaching Production Design to Non-Designers.

On Friday, there will be a panel, which will discuss the overlap between Production Design and Visual FX, followed by two Best Kept Secrets sessions, where approximately ten participants will share and explain their favourite design exercises or projects; finally the closing session will draw conclusions and valuable insights from the symposium. Please remember that GEECT symposia and conferences are fairly small but dynamically interactive events and so have the considerable advantage that all delegates have the time and space to participate and are actively encouraged to take part. We therefore are requesting participants to volunteer for individual sessions, particularly Best Kept Secrets I & II, and an encouraging number have already done so.



To register for the event, please complete the application form and return or to the address stated on the form.  The form can be downloaded here.  Please note that your place will only be confirmed on full receipt of payment.

Fees for the Symposium:

GEECT / CILECT Members:         €250.00

NAHEMI Members:                      €300.00

Non-Members:                            €450.00


Fees include:

Transport to the Hotel via Aircoach, three nights accommodation at The Royal Marine Hotel Dun Laoghaire, Shuttle to and from National Film School IADT campus, Dinner for three nights (Wed – Friday) and Lunch for two days (Thurs – Friday).


Directions to the National Film School, IADT Campus can be found here.

Details on the Royal Marine Hotel can be found here.

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