Scenic design (also known as stage design or set design) is the creation of theatrical scenery. Scenic designers have traditionally come from a variety of artistic backgrounds, but nowadays, generally speaking, they are trained professionals, often with M.F.A. degrees in theatre arts.
The scenic designer is responsible for collaborating with the theatre director and other members of the production design team to create an environment for the production and then communicating the details of this environment to the technical director, charge artist and props master. Scenic designers are responsible for creating scale models of the scenery, renderings, paint elevations and scale construction drawings as part of their communication with other production staff.
In Europe scenic designers take a more holistic approach to theatrical design and will often be responsible not only for scenic design but costume, lighting and sound and are referred to as theatre designers or scenographers. Like their American cousins, European theatre designers and scenographers are generally trained with Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre design, scenography or performance design.
Notable scenic designers include: Adolphe Appia, Boris Aronson, Howard Bay, Edward Gordon Craig, Barry Kay, Ralph Koltai, Ming Cho Lee, Santo Loquasto, Jo Mielziner, Jean-Pierre Ponelle, Josef Svoboda, Peter Wexler, Franco Zeffirelli, and - most importantly for the history of art - Inigo Jones, Alexandre Benois and Léon Bakst.
Scenography is the practice of making theatre including sets, costumes and texts from a theoretical and practical point of view. Scenographers work from the premise of a space that is constructed, apdated, transformed and filled. The role of the scenographer is analogous to that of the dramaturg.