Dr Tanja Beer is an ecological designer, community artist and Senior Lecturer in Design at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia. 

The Living Stage 

The Living Stage combines stage design, permaculture and community engagement to create a recyclable, biodegradable and edible performance space. Part theatre and part garden, the project collaborates with local permaculturists to build ‘living’ stages that are specific to site and community. 

The Living Stage considers ecological principles and environmental impact as opportunities rather than constraints: ethics that can illuminate, and be integral to aesthetics. Celebrating the multisensory aspects of scenography, the project seeks to engage with its audiences on a haptic, olfactory and gustatory level. The Living Stage was created as part of the Castlemaine State Festival and for World Stage Design as the Trans-Plantable Living Room. Moving beyond recycling and efficiency, the project posed a more radical question: ‘Can we create designs that not only enrich our audience, but our community and environment as well?’