Dorita Hannah

Australia (and Finland)
University of Tasmania (and Aalto University)

Dr Dorita Hannah is an architect and trans-disciplinary practitioner-scholar who collaborates with performers, artists, designers & communities to co-conceive, design and direct events, installations, exhibits, objects and spaces as well as the creation of cultural environments, particularly architecture for the visual and performing arts. Her research focuses on the concept of ‘eventspace’: demonstrating via design work and scholarly publications that the built environment housing an event or performance is itself an event and an integral driver of experience. Having taught architecture and design since 1986, Dr. Hannah has developed and established new academic programs, including Interior Design, Spatial Design and Performance Design. She is currently Research Curator for World Stage Design (WSD 2013), Theory Curator for the Prague Quadrennial (PQ 2015) and Design Director of FLUID STATES: a yearlong globally dispersed conference for Performance Studies International (PSi 2015). Her creative work has gained NZIA and DINZ awards as well as a UNESCO Laureate (1999) and World Stage Design medals (2009). She has led design projects at the Prague Quadrennial on Performance Design & Space, particularly as Design Director of the central exhibition in 2003 and as Architecture Commissioner in 2011.

Project Title
Now/Next: Performance Space @ the Crossroads
Dorita Hannah curated and designed the Architecture Section of the 2011 Prague Quadrennial. Sited at Prague’s literal & metaphorical crossroads, NOW/NEXT explored the intersection between performance & space. It displayed work from 32 countries in the National Exhibition (representing practices NOW), projected cutting-edge projects in the Media Tower (working BETWEEN architecture & scenography) and drew together designers/theorists in the Open Spatial Laboratory (asking what a theatre could be NEXT). It also incorporated OISTAT’s 4-yearly Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC). The Exhibition was bifurcated by a glowing wall that displayed selected TAC submissions printed onto suspended plastic sheets. Each nation presented their current state of theatre via a specially designed table they adapted or redesigned. The 10m high Media Tower visually connected the lower exhibition space with the upper Laboratory that also housed a projection tower and a studio for visiting international researchers & practitioners. It also doubled as a space for public lectures, symposia & reviews. The project was one of 100 selected for exhibition in 2013 World Stage Design (Cardiff, Wales).
Year of Completion
Designer & Curator