British stage designer Es Devlin’s career began in 1997 with small theater productions held in function rooms above pubs. Since then her work has dramatically transformed stages and stadiums around the world.
Her vast portfolio spans grand opera productions, pop concerts, Olympic ceremonies and fashion shows, and Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga are just some of the names that feature on her long list of collaborators.
This month Devlin’s 20-year career was honored by the design community with the highly coveted Panerai London Design Medal, one of the four medal prizes awarded as part of the British Land Celebration of Design Awards.
Previous winners of the award include Zaha Hadid, Paul Smith and David Adjaye.
“I think now I’m really aware of time,” said 45-year-old Devlin during an interview in her new home and studio in Dulwich, south London. “I have this sense of being halfway up a mountain.”
Devlin’s work has toyed with the theme of time in the past. Her “Mirror Maze” installation is perhaps the most recent example.
“What I’m interested to take forward is the visitor or the audience being in the piece of work,” she said. “The Mirror Maze piece that I did was the beginning of that line of inquiry … I would like to make something that people can work through and experience, and become hero of as they go through it – using the techniques that I’ve developed over 20 years that people find magical, in theater, that people feel transformed by.”
Es Devlin’s work is currently on display in two separate exhibitions at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.