A Q&A with BEATS Collective on their 2022 Design Awards Winning Entry

BEATS a multi-media performance collective

March 3, 2023

A Q&A with BEATS Collective on their 2022 Design Awards Winning Entry

BEATS by BEATS Collective photo credit Cléo Beauchamp-Paquette

Applied Arts contacted the BEATS Collective to dig deeper into their 2022 Design Awards winning Design Awards entry BEATS. This Experimental/innovative performance-driven show melds design, contemporary dance, visual projections and sound creation into a powerful, visceral experience.  

Could you tell us more about the developing stages, preproduction and behind-the-scenes info of your 2022 Applied Arts Design Awards winning work BEATS? 

The collective came together in 2019 to commence work on the narrative of BEATS an iterative project to be completed by April 2021. Our goal was to create an emotive crescendo while working with multiple disciplines (contemporary dance, electronic music, projection mapping and interactive components). It is a very complex show requiring us to work together simultaneously, pushing and furthering our ideas — collaboratively and holistically. We continue to find ways to improve every parameter of the show, whether it is interpretation, light design or connectivity.

BEATS, by BEATS Collective photo credit Myriam Ménard

What was the most difficult part of the project? What were the challenges?

The most challenging part of the project was  the interactive baton. We created the baton in conjunction with the show. Because of it’s size and complexity we had to test many different components in order to achieve seamless interactions with sound and visuals, in real-time. The other challenge was integrating this object into the narrative: we didn’t want to use technology as just an accessory, and it was important for us that the baton played a role in the show.  


BEATS, by BEATS Collective photo credit Camille Gladu-Drouin

What part of the project are you most proud of? 

We are very proud of how the public has received the project in general, that they get the essence of our work. Although the performance may seem very niche, it generates a universal conversation about our relationship with work, and furthermore, entertainment itself.  

What advice would you give to those seeking a career in your industry?

Our advice is to take it one step at a time, together, be curious and not afraid, ask for help and finally put your ego aside. 

New BEATS Collective Teaser 

How has winning Applied Arts Awards impacted your business?

Winning an Applied Arts Awards was a very important milestone for us. First of all, it was our first recognition outside Quebec, which is a step forward in our international vision. But also, it was important for us to root the project in as many disciplines as possible, which design is part of. Few interactive performances work from a design-thinking process, and we are very proud to push the boundaries of what designers can do. 

BEATS, by BEATS Collective photo credit Camille Gladu-Drouin

Who is your creative hero?

We don’t believe in a single hero but many inspired the show, to name a few: Kraftwerk (In General, really), John Carpenter (They Live) and Marie Davidson (Working Class Woman).

How do you stay inspired?

We attend a lot of art exhibitions and shows to keep us inspired. We also find collaborating is a crucial way in creating and developing new ideas.

Proof that collaboration can bring about innovative powerful work! Keep an eye on BEATS Collective to be awed by limitless possibilities.