June 21st, 2018 by Karen Burg with Halina Siwolop SDSA

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Division 3… Powerful mutant David Haller [Dan Stevens], who until a year ago thought himself schizophrenic and is still learning the depths of his mutant powers and ensuing alternate realities, is being held in a force field as the experts try to determine his level of dangerousness. Image ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

Set Decorator
Halina Siwolop SDSA
Production Designer
Michael Wylie

A peek into the second season of the fantastical series, where travel is not limited to physical reality! Set Decorator Halina Siwolop SDSA, describes how she, Production Designer Michael Wylie and their creative crews approached the series...
“Brutalist/futuristic architecture meets 1970’s groovy design—we had a blast!”
...from Set Decorator Halina Siwolop SDSA...

Working on LEGION was an exhilarating and amazing experience.  On the first day of the job, I walked into our offices where the words “Uncanny Valley” were plastered on the ceiling and walls.  That set the stage for our design work, designing environments where things aren’t always what they initially appear to be. What did that mean for the art department and set decoration? My production designer, Michael Wylie, would always tell me, “Not everything needs to make sense” and to just have fun.
The concept of this world was to never let the viewer know where the characters were. Are we in the future? The past? This is part of the deception that permeated the overall storyline. For the set dec team, this meant that we brought in design elements that, indeed, sometimes didn’t make sense and/or pushed the edge of reality. To heighten the idea of not knowing where we are, I brought in Eastern European elements, such as telephones and switch plates, and then focused on 1970’s design elements. We mixed antiques into futuristic settings, brought in obsessive collections, and as always, mixed patterned fabrics and wallpapers in a pleasing yet somewhat compulsive manner.
In the first season, you find out that the main character, David, is not crazy and is released from the insane asylum. Now he is forced to view the world with a new awareness as he journeys through an insane world.
When the production of LEGION was relocated to Los Angeles from Canada, it gave us the opportunity to create a whole new world within this insanity. We really had no limitations to the quirkiness that we could bring to the design process, which was refreshing and difficult at the same time. Sometimes I would want to make sense of something and Wylie would gently remind me that we are creating sets for characters that are from a comic book and, again, to just have fun.

How many times do you hear that and actually get to do that? 

Editor’s note:
Set Decorator Halina Siwolop SDSA would like to acknowledge the SDSA Business Members,
particularly those with whom she worked on this season of LEGION, including:

History for Hire
Practical Props
Omega Cinema Props
Warner Bros.Studios
Advanced Liquidators
Lennie Marvi's Propheaven
Faux Library
Universal Studios Property
RC Vintage/Alley Cats
Hollywood Studio Gallery
Alpha Companies Motion Picture Rentals
EC Props

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Division 3… Memory-savant Ptonomy Wallace [Jeremie Harris] pondering events, standing by the ubiquitous hexagon shape that was used throughout the season to define Division 3. Photo by Matthias Clamer ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Astral plane… Oliver Bird [Jemaine Clement] is silhouetted by “spectacles” that were added to the bar decor. Someone is always watching... Photo by Prashant Gupta ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Division 3… This wide shot of Admiral Fukyama, Division 3 leader, and his Vermillion show how his minions are powered on “charging” stations... Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Division 3… A detail of Fukyama on his pedestal, with one of his Vermillion standing guard. They have joined forces with the Summerland mutants to fight the Shadow King, Amahl Farouk Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Division 3… The Vermillion, part of the Uncanny Valley, stroll the halls of the new Division 3 headquarters. Brittany Parker Rose, Jelly Howie. Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Division 3… David and a Vermillion in deep conversation, while dining in the Chris Craft boat-themed restaurant. Dan Stevens, Jelly Howie. Image ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Division 3, Dining hall… David [Dan Stevens] eating in The Boat, sitting at the waterway that winds throughout the restaurant, a riff on the Japanese floating sushi restaurant... The boats were miniatures and required collaboration between Set Decoration, Props, Special Effects, Construction and the Art Department. It took many hands to make them float while loaded with plates of food! Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Museum… “We created this museum on stage, with these wonderful giant Egon Schiele paintings,” Set Decorator Halina Siwolop SDSA points out... Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Museum… Sydney and David ponder events amongst the watchful eyes of the Egon Schiele paintings. Rachel Keller, Dan Stevens. Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Flashback, Sydney’s childhood… This cozy moment only highlights Syd’s isolation and her inability to touch people. [Her mind trades places with anyone whom she touches. Thus the perpetual gloves.] Image ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Flashback, Sydney’s childhood… Sydney's childhood bedroom was shot as a flashback and provided a sweet, 1970's backdrop to her conflicted life. Image ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

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Division 3, Syd’s apartment kitchen… We used the same design elements for all the characters in order to make the apartments feel like dorm rooms in these new headquarters. Rachel Keller. Image ©2018 FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.