Star Trek Discovery

Visual and Industrial Design

The art of cinematic visual effects has reached the television screen in the new Star Trek Discovery series.

The pilot episode features strong female characters in leadership roles, the top ranking officers of the Discovery being played by Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as Captain Georgiou and Sonequa Martin (The Walking Dead) as Commander Burnham.

The story begins with a sense of ambiguity, set in a desert environment, where these two central characters face the prospect of being stranded for years in a barren wasteland where looming sandstorms threatening their moment-by-moment survival. The clothing and setting bring to mind the home of Luke Skywalker on Tatooine.

Once the starship enters the scene, the viewer instantly recognizes the universe that these characters inhabit is not that of Star Wars, but Star Trek.

Motion Design and Title Sequence

The opening credits feature images that are a synthesis of three-dimensional industrial design schematics of space craft, weapons, armour and body suits and the textural, colour, and stylistic characteristics of Renaissance drawings and paintings, reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

The visual sophistication of the title sequence of this new dramatic series creates a first impression that erases former distinctions between the production values of film and television.

The culture and influence of technology has long been a significant feature of the franchise, and this new series places the art of design in the role of an integral and central character.

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design.

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