EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Earth Arcade’s The Forest: Scenographic engagement spaces

Christopher Skinner1, Amy Skinner2, and Cat Fergusson Baugh2
Christopher Skinner et al.
  • 1Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, Hull, UK
  • 2School of the Arts, University of Hull, Hull, UK

As researchers we attempt to engage the public with our work in many different spaces yet we hardly ever seriously consider how we might manipulate, or control, that space in order to enhance that engagement. The theatrical research discipline of Scenography concerns itself with understanding how space can be used, through mediums such as stage design and performer/audience interaction, to control engagements and help maximize the impact of the activities within that space.

The Earth Arcade is a series of public engagement activities within an exhibit space that can be tailored for different events, depending on scale and audience. It uses games and game-like activities to share environmental research and inspire people to take actions to address environmental issues. The Forest project was established to explore how scenographic techniques could transform the spaces in which Earth Arcade exhibits are deployed.

Inspiration for The Forest was drawn from a visit to the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2019, where several of the exhibits were themselves inspired by environmental concerns. The space was debuted as a distinct part of an Earth Arcade exhibit at the 2019 Freedom Festival in Hull, UK, an annual arts and culture festival with over 130,000 visitors, and included elements like mindfulness, conversation circles, craftivism, and interactive soundscapes. These elements have subsequently been incorporated into further Earth Arcade exhibits.

The Forest demonstrates a successful, inter-disciplinary approach, where environmental researchers and theatrical researchers combine their work for mutual benefit and engage the public with vital environmental issues.

How to cite: Skinner, C., Skinner, A., and Fergusson Baugh, C.: Earth Arcade’s The Forest: Scenographic engagement spaces, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13264,, 2020


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