A First Look at David Rockwell’s Academy Awards Set Designs

It’s that time of year again, the Academy Awards, and with that has come the budding regular tradition of seeing architect David Rockwell‘s work. Seemingly having secured the spot to design the award show’s sets in the Kodak Theater (which, as luck would have it, he was also the architect and designer for) following his work on 2009’s Oscars, he’s given the LA Times a first peek at what he’s cooked up for this year’s biggest celebrity back-patting event. From the description, it sounds like his focus is on changing everything he didn’t think worked from his first time out. Here’s some:

In general, the sets will sparkle like so many Neil Lane jewels: Colors include platinum, topaz, smoky brown and clean white. The stage will be a laser-cut white on white (instead of last year’s black), evoking abstract L.A. modernism and also classic variety shows (a concept conceived with producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman). “The white environment will show silhouette very beautifully, so it will be a great room for fashion too,” Rockwell says. A white fabric cyclorama will complete the stark background as an extension of the floor on three sides and also will satisfy the director’s hope of using the stage’s depth.

Most experimental for Rockwell is the use of multiple reflective surfaces in small slivers throughout the stage and auditorium from a Venetian blind-style set piece to low walls treated with frosted and polished faceted mirrors. “I’m excited to see how that allows people watching the show to see winners and presenters on the stage and the audience reaction at the same time.”