Architecture Program


First Advisor

Nate Bicak

Date of this Version



A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Science

Major: Architecture

Under the supervision of Professor Nate Bicak

Lincoln, Nebraska, December 2023


Copyright 2023, Danielle DeGarmo


The expanded use of the term scenography is widening its understanding of the word to encompass many experiential design disciplines beyond its origin in theatre. At its essence, scenography is the culmination of a designer’s collaborative efforts to take a prompt, whether it be a client program, a script, or other, and produce a holistic assemblage of experiential design elements to spatially engage an end user. Many experts in across design fields have acknowledged that there is disciplinary cross over among those practicing in experiential design fields in terms of design output or intention. By means of designer surveys and interviews, this research investigates the attitudes of practicing designers in the fields of interior design, architecture and theatre set designers through the primary focus areas of 1) design process, 2) design biases, 3) perceived design success, and 4) primary experience to better understand the relationship of these design fields in relation to each other and how they relate to the larger concept of scenography. The findings indicate that service-based design fields like interior design or architecture unanimously agree clients play a considerable role in decision-making in their design process. However, the end result may be stunted due in part to the impact of placing collaborative emphasis on the client, who is generally non-design-oriented. Conversely, while equally collaborative as the service-based fields in their design process, theatre designers tend to have more freedom in their design output as their end product serves to entertain or engage the mind more than serve a practical need.

Advisor: Nate Bicak