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Design Company Take the Next Step in Innovation with ARCHICAD

Central Innovation 5 June 2015

Blue/Orange – Ensemble Theatre

Boutique design company, Stukel Stone is paving the way to new design heights with their innovative approach to design and architecture. As the combined brainchild of set designer, Tobhiyah Stone Feller, and architect Daniel Stukel Beasly, the company came together in 2014 and prides itself on its hybrid approach to design, combining the nuts and bolts of architecture with the creative flair of set design.

No better project has seen the success of this hybrid, than the design of the stage production, Blue/Orange, which played at the Ensemble Theatre in Kirribilli throughout October and November in 2014.The pair’s innovative streak comes from their hybrid approach, where for this project they modelled and refined their set design using 3D architectural software, ARCHICAD instead of a basic 2D drawing program. This technique, which the pair had never used before, proved to them that ARCHICAD is the right tool for their business.


Stukel Stone - Blue/Orange
Photo © Clare Hawley/Ensemble Theatre

“The way we think, connect and work I believe makes us more innovative and unexpected with our hybrid approach, and that’s why our business succeeds,”

says Tobhiyah.

The play, written by Joe Penhall and directed by Anna Crawford, centres on the treatment of mental illness, and the differing ways race and mental health collide. With such an interesting back-story to design a set for, Stukel Stone’s approach had to be equally as interesting.


Stukel Stone - Blue/Orange

Image © Clare Hawley/Ensemble Theatre

“For this project we decided to take a different approach to its creation and formation. I started off traditionally with pen and paper and then modeled the concept with air dried clay. When it came to the refinement stage, instead of using a basic 2D CAD drawing we modelled the theatre in the architectural design program, ARCHICAD and were able to use its 3D interface to see a 360 degree view of the theatre, the design and how it all fit together. It was truly quite amazing to turn a simple clay model into the digital sphere of ARCHICAD,” says Tobhiyah.


With Daniel’s help, Tobhiyah was able to see her concept come to life in its 3D interface. She was able to see exactly what it would look like, the exact dimensions of the design and what each audience member would see. Tobhiyah’s design, a Rorschach test of sorts, combines an abstract white façade with a spherical centrepiece, which with the effects of lighting is transformed to appear transparent or opaque, 2D or 3D, blue or orange. It is then no surprise that with such an abstract, open design that the sight lines in the creation of this design were extremely important.


Blue/Orange Construction

Image © Daniel Beasly 


“The ability to design a stage set and see exactly what the audience would see from every angle was amazing. It meant that we could alter the design to ensure no one could see any wiring or production materials from where they were sitting, giving the effect that the set, which weighed 300 kg, was essentially floating off the floor. To be able to model this in ARCHICAD, knowing exactly where everything should go and the exact measurements and angles of each piece, when you only have a day to get everything set up was priceless,” Tobhiyah Stone Feller, Performance Designer

Tobhiyah and Daniel found that with the help of ARCHICAD there was seamless fabrication and installation. For Daniel it took the guess work out of the design process which can sometimes be tricky when dealing with abstract and obscure concepts. It also took the unknown out of the actual building part of the stage design.


Stukel Stone - Blue/Orange

Images © Clare Hawley/Ensemble Theatre


“Having the model in ARCHICAD was invaluable. You could move it, rotate it, change the steel structure so that the look was perfect, and it was so accurate. Knowing that the first time you produce it and install it is going to work, is very powerful in stage design. It means that you don’t have to troubleshoot with the build and install team, everyone felt supported and there were no issues or unexpected surprises,” says Daniel.Daniel, who works across a range of sectors in the AEC industry including alterations, additions, commercial, medical, retail and residential, has used ARCHICAD for the past 3 years and says he would never go back.

“Having worked in Revit previously I know that the program is heavily reliant on high end hardware. I love the fact that with ARCHICAD it’s not only easier to use, but it doesn’t require me to have a state of the art computer. These days I do all my designs and documentation from start to finish with my standard laptop.”


Having now worked in ARCHICAD for their stage designs, the duo sees 3D models as the way forward, not only for their own company, but for the industry as well.“This project has completely opened our eyes, I can see a world where everything for architecture, and maybe even stage design is done completely in 3D. It wouldn’t surprise me if we soon had everyone handing over 3D models to builders, rather than 2D plans. I know that we will certainly be using it in the future,” says Daniel.


About Stukel Stone

Stukel Stone


Stukel Stone is a Sydney based design practice working across a hybrid of performance design and architecture to create spaces and experiences driven by imagination. Their design process combines this hybrid by exploring the permanence of architecture with the temporality of theatre, creating unique design experiences on stage and in the practical, real world.


GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ARCHICAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner® STAR, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007.

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