One piece at a time

An algorithmic set design


Based on Richard Wagner’s 1856 opera, Die Walkure, we composed a set design responding to Act 1 Scene 1 focusing on the symbolism of the ash tree. The scene begins with Siegmund, wounded and weaponless, taking shelter from a storm in a stranger’s home. The home has a large ash tree located precisely in the middle of the house, with a sword stuck in it. The sword was placed there on Hunding and Sieflinde’s wedding day and no one has been able to remove it. Tension arises in the house between Siegmund and Hunding, resulting in a fight over Hundings wife. Siegmund, overcome with love, vows to protect Sieflinde and removes the sword from the tree, naming it Notung (Need). Siegmund and Sieflinde run off into the forest together. 


Seeing the tree as an important symbol of the opera’s narrative of adventure, family love, death and revenge, we decided to highlight the element. By creating a forest of trees, it introduces voids and gaps in the structure, allowing for every angle to have a different perspective of the set. 


3Ds Max


2016 Intermediate Computer Applications
University of Toronto

In collaboration with
Bradley Dunn and Jeremy Keyzer