Structural Changes in the OISTAT Organization


November 16, 2016


Last April, the EC decided to dissolve all Working Groups. This decision was taken after thorough consideration. The EC together with the GB determined that there were some structural and organizational issues which needed to be addressed related to the accountability of Commission Chairs, communication between Chairs and Working Groups, and the management of active members and non-members in Working Groups. It was agreed that Working Groups should be formed in the future to work only on specific projects.



It became apparent however that this decision created a gap in the organization in certain areas, particularly the Performance Design disciplines of Costume, Lighting, Space and Sound design. Therefore, the EC invited the leaders of the former Working Groups to participate in a special meeting in Seville on 20 October 2016, to discuss this issue and to investigate how these sub-groups could be better embedded in the OISTAT structure. (for the list of participants, please see below).


The outcome of this meeting, which was agreed by all of the former elected Working Group leaders, the GB and the EC, is that we propose to create a new structure in OISTAT, which is set out below. This new structure will require changes to the Statutes and the EC will now review the current Statutes and make a recommendation to the Congress for approval at the meeting to be held during WSD2017. If the Congress accepts these revisions to the Statutes, the new structure will become official.


The EC needs time to prepare the new Statutes, which will be sent to the OISTAT membership at least 3 months before the Congress takes place. All present agreed that, until the Congress takes place, the former Working Groups, under the name of Sub-Commissions, should continue their work as if the new structure is approved by the Congress. The current Working Group leaders should remain in position of the Sub-Commissions.


At the meeting in Seville the EC and the GB, as well as the Working Group Leaders, all expressed their appreciation of the good work of the former Working Groups and their leadership.  All present expressed their desire for the groups to continue their work under a new Sub-Commission structure. The whole group agreed that the proposed new structure would be a positive change, providing improved communication and accountability, which they hoped Congress would approve.



What are these changes?

-    Every Commission can form Sub-Commissions for different disciplines.

-    Proposals for creating or ending Sub-Commissions will be proposed, by the Commission, to the EC, who will  make the final decision.

-    Voting rights in Commissions will generally stay as they are (i.e. 1 vote for OISTAT Centres and a fractional vote  for Individual and Associate Members of OISTAT, in accordance with the new Statutes).

-    Voting rights in a Sub-Commission will be different, allowing every active OISTAT member of a Sub-Commission  to vote, as long as they are either a member of an OISTAT Centre or an Individual or Associate member of OISTAT.  The exact voting rules will be set out in the revised Statutes to ensure that there is a set of equal voting rules in all  Sub-Commissions.

-    The Chair of a Sub-Commission is elected by the membership of that Sub-Commission.

-    The Chair of a Sub-Commission is elected for a 4-year term and can serve for a maximum of 2 terms.

-    Current leaders of former Working Groups, who have been elected in a democratic process can continue to lead  the Sub-Commissions until an election can be held.  They will be eligible to be elected as the first chair of a Sub-Commission, provided the new Sub-Commission structure is approved under the new statutes.

-    Sub-Commissions are responsible to the Commission to which they report.

-    Chairs of Sub-Commissions will become members of the GB (Governing Board).

-    Working Groups, which were instituted to run projects, have now been abolished but each Commission or Sub- Commission can create specific projects groups which will exist only for the duration of that project.

-    Interdisciplinary project groups, which span the interests of more than one Commission, can be formed, which  will be known as ‘Cloud Projects’.



The former Working Group leaders, the GB and the EC agreed that they see big advantages with the proposed new structure, which include:

-    A transparent democratic structure with election procedures and clear accountability.

-    Representation of Sub-Commissions on the GB, providing improved communication with the OISTAT leadership.

-    Improved exchange of information between different disciplines within a Commission, resulting in greater  collaboration.

-    Project Groups and Cloud Projects, where the real work of OISTAT takes place, will continue.


The former Working Group leaders, the GB and the EC very much hope that these changes will be supported and wish to encourage the OISTAT community to keep working on their many interesting projects. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to raise them through the OISTAT Headquarters (




Louis Janssen


International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians
Organisation Internationale des Scénographes, Techniciens et Architectes de Théâtre
Add: Suite D, Center for Innovation Taipei (CIT), No.1, Yumen St., Taipei 10452, Taiwan
Tel: +886-2-25962294    Fax: +886-2-25981647
Web: www.oistat,org  Email: 





Special Meeting

Working Groups Leaders with Executive Committee and Governing Board

17:30 – 19:30, October 20, 2016


Meeting Attendants

Former Working Group Leaders

Simona Rybáková (Costume Design)
Sofia Pantouvaki (Costume Design) 
Rob Eastman-Mullins (Space Design Group)
Kimmo Karjunen (Lighting Design)
Joe Pino (Sound Design)*
Richard Thomas (Sound Design)*
Ivo Kersmaekers (Timeline Group & Substitute of OISTAT Technology Chair)
Chris Van Goethem (Timeline Group)
*participated meeting via Skype

Governing Board (GB)

Ian Evans (Chair of OISTAT Education)
Tim Foster (Chair of OISTAT Architecture)
David Wilmore (Interim Chair of OISTAT Research)
Markéta Fantová (Chair of OISTAT Performance Design)
Carl Walling (Chair of OISTAT Publication Communication)

Executive Committee (EC)

Louis Janssen (President)
Aby Cohen (Vice President)
Michael Ramsaur (Treasurer)
Sean Crowley (Secretary)
Marina Raytchinova (EC Member)
Bert Determann (EC Member)
Miljana Zekovic? (EC Member)

Headquarters (HQ)

Wan-Jung Wei (General Manager)
Szu-Yun Yu (HQ Secretary)

Other OISTAT Member
Kevin Rigdon (Head of OISTAT US Centre) 
William Kenyon (Candidate of Chair of Education Commission)


Duncan Ei-Eu Chang (Vice President)
Romana Boskovic (Chair of OISTAT Technology)


Download the Letter of Structural Changes