Discussion, discourse, and creative insight through STIRring conversations in 2022
by Jincy IypeDec 27, 2022
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Anushka SharmaPublished on : May 18, 2023
The social tapestry of the world is a mesh of an entire spectrum of colours; this fabric is pigmented by a plethora of diverse languages, cultures, geographies and traditions—each unique and inimitable. Despite their fundamental differences, they often come together as a large global community that finds its strength in its diversity. Speaking of unity and togetherness, there is one language that traverses—almost effortlessly—across cultural and geographical barriers: music. When the aim is to evoke emotions that melt boundaries and inspire voices of solidarity, music is an unfaltering power.
In 1956, when the continent of Europe was torn by war and political differences, music emerged as a force of unanimity and Eurovision came into being. Since then, this musical spectacle—counted amongst the largest music events in the world—has evolved into a week-long celebration with a host of countries, both European and non-European participating. Barring the riveting musical renditions, there is one other aspect intrinsic to the song contest and that is stage design. Eurovision 2023 took place from May 9 to May 13, 2023, in Liverpool, United Kingdom, and unveiled an eye-catching milieu for performances, conceived by New York-based firm Yellow Studio, specialising in production design, creative direction, event production, and art direction. The enveloping cocoon conformed to this year’s theme United by Music as the UK hosted the contest on behalf of the 2022 winners Ukraine. "It’s a wonderful honour to be collaborating with the BBC and the production team to design this year's Eurovision Song Contest set. This year’s contest unites Ukraine and the UK to celebrate the unique cultures of both,” says Julio Himede, director of Yellow Studio.
Yellow Studio has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading design studios, specialising in production design for television and live events. Over the course of two decades, the team has brought some of the biggest cultural events to fruition, more recently, serving as the design team for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards and Disney’s hybrid live animated special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. The New York design firm joined forces with the Eurovision team as set designers, delivering a large-scale mise en scène for an enticing show that had garnered the attention of a global audience of over 160 million. The uniting ethos of the event that musters countless people, channelled through its set design as well—is like a warm and wide hug.
The set design originated from a simple idea of a hug—an embrace that welcomes people of Ukraine, Europe, and the world to partake in a celebration of community. The team injected the singularity of this year’s contest into the 220 sqm of staging. The large-scale production architecture was evocative of a hug that enwraps the Liverpool Arena—from above and below—expressing an alliance with Ukraine and platforming the show’s performers and guests from across the world. The design spread across the arena floor, facilitating fluid connectivity between the stage, performers, audience and greenroom as one entity. This immersive approach provided contestants and hosts with multiple performance locations and exhibited how music can transcend borders and bring people together as one unit.
Being a cross-cultural event, the stage’s diverse inspirations were only imminent. Ukrainian craftsmanship, emblematic costumes and patterns struck a dialogue with the rich musical heritage of Liverpool. Together, the two cultural identities covertly fuelled the 67th edition of the show, while also offering a universal scenery for all the other participating countries to represent their own. Furthermore, the set designers also ensured that the stage shapeshifted smoothly in accordance with each performance—unveiling a new composition for all 37 contestants in front of a live audience. The set-up expressed an identity yet none at all, existing both as a domineering silhouette and a flexible canvas. The intensive efforts of the team culminated in an environment that epitomises an equilibrium between allure and absolute functionality.
Being the central figure of the entire event, the Eurovision stage design must be a bold and unprecedented expression of the show’s identity every year. Yellow Studio strived to achieve just that by weaving elements of surprise, representation, and grandeur into the show’s spatial configuration. Moreover, the 67th edition of Eurovision marked the first time the event was hosted by the runner-up country due to war—a responsibility that had to be met with sensitivity and support. Amalgamating all the aspects meticulously, Yellow Studio breathed life into the sweeping main stage of Eurovision 2023—a silent protagonist that represented solidarity, nationalism, scenography and most importantly, the gentle power of music.
by Zeynep Rekkali Jensen Jun 07, 2023
The design festival 3 Days of Design (June 7-9) kickstarted with an extensive programme of exhibitions, launches and talks throughout the Danish capital.
by Laurameroni Design Collection Jun 06, 2023
Artisanal excellence meets contemporary design in Laurameroni's bespoke luxury furnishings, showcasing Italian craftsmanship and innovative concepts.
by Samta Nadeem, Zohra Khan Jun 02, 2023
Speaking with STIR, the biennale director discusses how the event challenges the traditional biennale model and why there is a need for connections to pull people closer to design.
by Jincy Iype May 30, 2023
STIR unpacks five major brand rehauls that spell evolution and cater to the ‘phygital’—Nokia, 7UP, Amazon’s Prime Video, Nordoff and Robbins, and Disney’s Freeform.
make your fridays matterSUBSCRIBE
Don't have an account?Sign Up
Or you can join with
Please select your profession for an enhanced experience.
Tap on things that interests you.
Select the Conversation Category you would like to watch
Please enter your details and click submit.
Enter the code sent to
What do you think?