David Shearing (b.1983) is a multi-award-winning artist who creates immersive multimedia environments and spaces. He is interested in how audiences engage both physically and conceptually with design and installation art. He explores audience engagement and placemaking by creating intimate, and at times spectacular, art and performance installations using video, sound and natural materials. He is founder of design studio Variable Matter and is a lecturer in Experimental Arts and Performance at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. David has a PhD in ‘Audience Immersion and the Experience of Scenography’ (University of Leeds).
Recent work includes, The Rising Sun (2022), a light responsive immersive installation in Romford Town Centre, Black Rock (2017), selected as part of the UK National Exhibition of Performance Design (2019),  INCREDIBLE THINGS (2017) www.incredible-things.com, a city wide participation project and artistic manifesto. The Weather Café (2016) a weather responsive café in the heart of the city of Leeds. The Dock (2016) a Lowry Commission and event space for the Week 53 Festival in Salford. In 2014 David was award a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship and produced The Weather Machine (2015) in partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse and stage@leeds which was awarded Silver at the World Stage Design exhibition 2017. In 2013 and it all comes down to this… won the Gold award at World Stage Design for best Installation design. Other work includes video design and scenography for Beacons (2010) by Yvon Bonenfant, EMPAC New York and UK Tour. 
Leeds Compassionate City Award nomination for Art Project of the Year (2018)
Silver Award, Alternative Design ‘The Weather Machine’, World Stage Design (2017)
Southbank Centre ‘Collisions’ with Mette Henriettee (2017)
East Street Arts, Vicar Lane, ‘Incredible Things’ (2017)
Sky Academy Arts Scholarship Winner (2014)
Gold Award, Installation Design ‘and it all comes down to this…’, World Stage Design (2013)
University of Leeds Postgraduate of the Year – Finalist (2013)
EMPAC – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with Yvon Bonenfont (2009)
PhD ‘Audience Immersion and the Experience of Scenography’, University of Leeds, (2009-2015)
MA Performance Design & Practice, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, (2009)
BA Performing Arts, University of Winchester, (2005)
External Examiner, MA Event and Experience Design, University of Kent (2019 – current)
PhD Supervision, Nic Farr (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) 'The Scenographics of Queer Placemaking' 
Independent PhD chair (RCSSD), PhD examination (Guildhall) 
Trustee (Interim Deputy Chair), Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch (2019 – current) 
Associate Curator ‘Staging Places: UK Design for Performance 2015-19, SBTD (2018 – 2021)
Co-Convener of the TaPRA Scenography Working Group (2018 – 2022)
Committee Member Society of British Theatre Designers (2018 – 2021)
Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds (2018-2021)
Leeds 2023 Engagement Committee Member (2017-2018)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2013)

Shearing, D, (2019). ‘Black Rock: Routes Through Scenographic Translation, from Mountain Climbing to Performance’ in On Mountains edited by Jonathan Pitches and David Shearing, Performance Research, 24.3.  
Pitches, J, Shearing, D (2019). Co-editor, On Mountains, edited by Jonathan Pitches and David Shearing, Performance Research, 24.3. 
Shearing, D (2018) Training…immersion and participation, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 9:2, 291-293, DOI: 10.1080/19443927.2018.1475903
Shearing, D (2018), ‘An Ecological Approach to Performance Design’, Journal for the Society of British Theatre Designers, Issue 2.
Shearing, D, (2017), ‘Audience Immersion, Mindfulness and the Experience of Scenography’, in McKinney JE; Palmer SD (eds.), Scenography Expanded: An Introduction to Contemporary Performance Design.  Performance and Design.  London: Bloomsbury Methuen.  https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/scenography-expanded-9781474244398/
Shearing, D (2015), ‘Audience Immersion and the Experience of Scenography’ (PhD), University of Leeds. http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/9467/
Shearing, D (2015), ‘The Weather of Scenography’, Journal for the Society of British Theatre Designers, Issue 2.
Shearing, D, (2015) ‘Immersive theatre: the voyeur within‘, in Rodosthenous G (eds.)  Theatre as Voyeurism: The Pleasure(s) of watching. Palgrave Macmillan (2015) http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137478801
Shearing, D (2014), ‘Scenographic Landscapes’, Studies in Theatre and Performance, Routledge  pp 1-15,
Shearing, D (2013), ‘This rise of immersive theatre puts design in the spotlight’, World Stage Design,

Leeds Confidentials, Interview with David Shearing, INCREDIBLE THINGS, http://confidentials.com/leeds/interview-david-shearing-incredible-things
East Street Arts, Interview, ‘Christmas with us’, http://eaststreetarts.org.uk/news/david-shearing-interview-christmas-with-us/
Blouin Art, ‘The Weather Cafe responses to the emotional climate of the city’  http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/1349429/the-weather-cafe-responds-to-emotional-climates-in-leeds-uk
Huffington Post, Immersive Theatre: David Shearing ‘The Weather Machine’, (2015)
BBC NEWS, ‘Is London the capital of new escapism?‘, (2014)
World Stage Design Announcement, School of Performance and Cultural Industries.
Culture Vulture, ‘and it all comes down to this… preview’ (2012)
Photo by: Tom Joy
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